Wednesday and Thursday To-Do: 'West of Memphis'

Posted by David Koon on Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 10:51 AM

West of Memphis screens at Market Street Cinema Wednesday and Thursday.
  • "West of Memphis" screens at Market Street Cinema Wednesday and Thursday.

7 p.m. Market Street Cinema. Free.

Though the films in the original "Paradise Lost" trilogy by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky are undoubtedly some of the most effective documentaries ever made, given their role in spawning the worldwide movement that eventually freed Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley after 18 years in prison, the new doc "West of Memphis," produced by director Peter Jackson and directed by Amy Berg, has just as many thought-provoking questions to ask about the case.

Focusing on evidence that seems to point to Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of victim Stevie Branch, the film is especially powerful given that it includes interviews with case-participants — like Mark Byers and Pam Hobbs — who were 100 percent sure of the guilt of the West Memphis Three, but who have since come to doubt that.

Like the original "Paradise Lost," "West of Memphis" is grim and unsettling stuff (one particularly gruesome scene shows turtles in a glass tank feasting on a dead pig to show how the injuries to the victims could have been caused by animal predation), but if you care at all about the WM3 case or justice in general, it's definitely a must-see. These screenings, part of an array of dates producers have scheduled in Arkansas and Tennessee well in advance of the theatrical release, are free and first-come-first-serve.

Upcoming Little Rock screenings at Market Street: Oct. 2, 3, 9, 10, 30 and Nov. 1.

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If you go see this free movie, just remember it is merely more WM3 innocence propaganda. The chance to prove their innocence has come and gone. They did not want to tell their innocence story in a court of law, but chose rather to plead guilty and then portray their innocence in a documentary. That makes more sense. Now they can say whatever they want as fact with no proof to back it up and expect people to buy it, and no worry of getting their "evidence" cross-examined and crushed on the stand. If you do go see it, take the time to visit as well. There are a lot of facts there that the WM3 and their supporters do not want you to know.

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Posted by Lisa LeShea Skees-Allen on 09/12/2012 at 9:43 PM
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