When you have a good and interesting subject, there really is no way you could mess up a documentary. And a documentary about death row, that's also dealing with other crime related themes is already a good and interesting subject, in my book.

So yes, I'm actually saying that there was no way Werner Herzog could had messed this documentary up in the first place but having said that, it of course still makes this a good and intriguing watch, even though it doesn't really touch upon any new grounds.

It's a good thing that this documentary doesn't take a stand against the death penalty, though Herzorg himself expresses multiple times in this documentary that he's against it. But it's not picking any sides. Not with anyone but also most certainly not with anything. It feels like a very open minded documentary actually and it lets it viewers make up their own minds about everything.

Regarding all of the subjects handled in this movie; it does things competently. Like I said before, this documentary is nothing original or revolutionary in any way but of course not all documentaries should be. It mostly consists out of interviews with people from all sides who somehow were connected to the crimes, that led up to the execution of Michael Perry. It doesn't ever dwells on for too long about anything, so it remains focused at all times, which makes this a very pleasant and fast paced documentary, in my opinion.

If I have to name one negative thing about this documentary it is that it doesn't show all of the sides, most likely of course due to it that not everybody wanted to cooperate- or had anything to do with this documentary. Some sides don't feel covered enough and it's perhaps also true that the documentary skips too fast over a couple of things, making the overall documentary also feel a bit rushed at times.

Really nothing too impressive or new but it simply is a great and well made documentary, that is worth seeing, no matter what your stance is on the death penalty.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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