Robert Blecker Wants Me Dead (2008)
Filmmaker Ted Schillinger turns his attentions toward a most unusual friendship with this documentary focusing on the warm bond shared between outspoken capital punishment proponent Robert Blecker and Tennessee Death Row inmate Daryl Holton. A mass murderer who strongly believes that the death penalty is a just and necessary punishment, Holton knows that his time will soon come, and spends a good deal of time discussing such topics as mercy, courage, and morality with the New York Law School professor whose efforts played a key part in ensuring his death. The result is a film that gravitates between humorous and deeply disturbing as it focuses in on one of the most controversial moral dilemmas of the modern era. … More
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Critic Reviews for Robert Blecker Wants Me Dead
On a deeper level (and a skillfully conscious one on the part of filmmaker Ted Schillinger) it's a portrait of two men's utter loneliness in their thoughts.
A thoughtful if dry discussion of the death penalty revolving around the titular gentleman.
As for the filmmaker, Mr. Schillinger remains neutral to a fault. His documentary, while compelling, can also be frustrating.
Just as its subject likes to hear himself talk -- often in ever-more-vague blasts of logic clear only to himself -- this cheap-looking doc gives him lots of air.
Robert Blecker Wants Me Dead is straightforward as documentary filmmaking, but it's fascinating as a dialectic on fairness.
Blecker's climactic nighttime encounter with garden-variety execution advocates offers a resolution-by-proxy of the duo's bizarre waltz, as well as a powerful home truth.
In the documentary, Robert Blecker Wants Me Dead, New York Law School professor and well-known retributivist Blecker submits he can measure -- in his gut -- who deserves to die.
Anyone who's gotten jazzed by a lively philosophy class (hello?) should find it fascinating.
A compelling, provocative and illuminating documentary that will inspire you to intelligently reexamine your own beliefs about the death penalty.
Intriguing, thought-provoking documentary about a pro-death-penalty lawyer and his unlikely relationship with a murderer on death row will satisfy socially conscious viewers on both sides of the ever-controversial issue.
A legal joust that ends in the sort of satisfyingly ambiguous fashion that should spur post-screening conversation.
Miring itself in both the sound and troubling aspects of Blecker's views, as well as the honesty and hypocrisy of his actions, Schillinger's portrait unobtrusively allows its zealous, self-reflective subject to speak for himself.
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