Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory Reviews
And this, in a nutshell is what infuriates me about a certain segment of American society. I fail to grasp how people can be so intellectually lazy, choosing to believe patently absurd bullshit because some preacher or politician or their daddy said so, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
The same superstitious absurdities have ended up with people burned at the stake, with people, even the media, believing wild claims of devil worshipping cults who engage in mass murder and child sexual abuse, when the plain fact is that most perpetrators are your preacher, your politician or your daddy.
How can such a brutal crime still take place? Three young boys, all bright kids with their lives in front of them, dead. What was the motive of the killer? If the West Memphis 3 are innocent, who the hell did this heinous crime? If I had a child, what would I do if someone perpetrated a crime like this on my son?
How awful must the parents feel? These sons were the pride and joy of these parents. How cruel to have them taken away. One of the mothers makes a statement to the effect of "why give me eight years with my son only to take him from me"? I have to agree with that sentiment, in a way. What about these seemingly despicable stepfathers? Chris Byers appears to have turned a corner but has there ever been a looser cannon? Maybe so if you add Terry Hobbs into the mix. And Hobbs doesn't appear innocent at all. With the release of the WM3, why isn't there a pursuit into finding answers? Or is everyone involved at the point where letting the crime fade into the past the best thing to do? Will there ever be closure to this crime?
How do the WM3 re-establish themselves into society? Do they face continual death threats? Have they had to change their identities? What of the lives they lost in prison? James Baldwin mentioned in the press conference after his release that he was innocent and didn't want the Alford plea. Yet he did it for Damien Eccols. How does he feel today, admitting guilt? Was it worth it? And what a selfless act.
What about the role the police, the district attorney and the judge played in this travesty? Do they have guilt at night? Knowing they more than likely sent three innocents to prison for 18 years? Do they realize they look incredibly inept to the rest of the world?
What about the sensationalistic nature of the case? The role of the mob and the carrying out of a modern day mob justice? The absolute conviction of the accused before they went to trial. What about the role satanism played in the court of public opinion? I know this is the heart of the bible belt but geez, it was 1993. Not 1560.
How dedicated were Berlinger and Shinofsky? Twenty years, three documentaries. Incredible devotion. How about the others involved in getting the WM3 free? The lady that married Eccols? You can't write a screenplay this juicy with as many shocking twists and turns and life shattering revelations.
Finally, what does the film say about us as a society? How does it reflect us? Looking critically shows a picture of a society devoid of its moral compass. Sensationalism and mob mentality reign. As long as people are sated and happy, no problems exist. How can we have such a brutal crime basically being unpunished. People involved with this case do and say anything in front of the camera. The people involved show the worst of what we have become; uneducated, morally bankrupt, extremely narcissistic.
A powerful film.