Archives / 2012 Sundance Film Festival

West of Memphis

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Director: Amy Berg

Screenwriters: Amy Berg

Institute History

Description

For many people, the case of the West Memphis Three has become synonymous with wrongful conviction. Despite a lack of physical evidence, three Arkansas teenagers were found guilty in 1994 of the ritual murder of three eight-year-old boys. Media attention led to an outpouring of support that has helped to keep them in the public consciousness for nearly two decades.

Director Amy Berg examines the crime and its aftermath, providing a voice for the victims’ families, including those with doubts about whether the right people are behind bars. Rather than focus on the accused, the film follows their supporters—including loved ones, attorneys, and celebrity advocates such as Eddie Vedder and Peter Jackson—as they seek the truth. With the help of a former FBI profiler, a less sensational, yet still chilling, motive and suspect emerge—ones, shockingly, never investigated.

With compelling, immediate access, West of Memphis follows the story of the West Memphis Three to its dramatic and unexpected conclusion, raising serious questions about justice and its compromises.

— B.T.

Screening Details

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