Paradise Lost: The Child Murders At Robin Hood Hills / Revelations: Paradise Lost 2  [DVD] [NTSC]
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The award winning Paradise lost films tell the horrifying true story of the West Memphis three, the notorious American murder case in which 3 arkansas teenagers, with a penchant for black clothes and heavy metal music, were accused and charged with killing three 8 year old boys in a satanic ritual.
Fraught with emotionally charged testimony, allegations of coerced confessions and a lack of physical evidence, the sensational trial prompted many to claim the teens were wrongly convicted in an atmosphere of 'Satanic panic'.
Breathtakingly brilliant - 5 stars -- GQ
Gripping...The best documentary of the year, maybe of the decade. -- NEW YORK POST
True crime reporting and its most bitterly revealing. -- NEW YORK TIMES
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Top Customer Reviews
Admittedly I was shocked when one of the very first visuals of the movie was the dead bodies of the three young boys lying in the woods. It was a very powerful opening and also very impartial as it makes sure that you start your journey as the viewer in exactly the same place as everyone who was there at the time, enabling you to feel the raw emotions of this terrible tragedy before you see the suspects.
The documentary, as it progresses, does however, have a subtle bias towards the side of the defence as we get to see the consultations between the defence attorneys and the three teenage boys accused of this 'ritual murder. This might seem like simply a tactic by the filmmakers; attempting to throw an 'innocent' possibility into the mix, spicing up the movie a little, but as shown in the second part, there are many people who believe this to be true and who campaign rigorously for the release of Damien, Jason and Jessie.Read more ›
The documentaries themselves are harrowing. The first one opens with the murder scene and police video of the boys' bodies; this is disturbing stuff. Unfortunately you get to see more photographs of the victims, but this isn't to shock, this is simply to aid the narrative.
After the first documentary, I could see why people still weren't sure of the boys' guilt. The documentary's style is deliberately unbiased (the film-makers simply set out to make a documentary about 3 boys they believed probably were guilty) and the narrative is guided by the people involved, not a 'voice of god' telling you what to think.
The second documentary is deliberately biased. The film-makers believed that the Memphis Three were innocent and therefore set out to make a documentary suggesting this. Again, there is no voice-over, so you are able to make up your own mind (my partner still doesn't believe all three boys are innocent, even after watching the documentaries) but it is very much in the favour of the WM3.
I first started to read about this case three years ago, and have read the two books written on the subject. So I came to watch these films with a fair amount of background knowledge of who was involved.
But they still manage shock me to the core - and the individuals say more on screen than a book could ever hope to convey. This case is about much more than the terrible, tragic murder of three boys. It's about the loss of freedom of three more as a result, and the possible chief suspect staring the viewer in the face. A witch hunt in a town of country hicks? A terrible miscarridge of justice? A pack of lies that tell only half the story?
Decide for yourself, but watch this film. The access given to the documentary makers is enough in itself (they later went on to make Metallica's 'Some Kind Of Monster' film). When a resonable individual looks at this case, it's hard to turn away and if you've ever felt as if you weren't part of the crowd - the issues raised will especially ring true.
Despite this fascinating & brilliantly made documentary, if you wanting to find out more of the prosecutions case you shouldnt regard this as containing the whole prosecution case. Issues little covered in the films are: the defendent Damien echols violent past, the 'forced confession' by misskelly & his so called IQ of 72 - are all analysed & covered in detail (using exisitng police transcipts that were freely available & taken from the police archieves ) by recent books such as Abomination - Devil worship & Deception in the West Memphis 3 murders by William Ramsey (also on amazon).
A current assesment of the case may well be placed that the police & justice system had a reasonable case to consider full guilt onthe case that was cicrumstantially constructed together, while, the medical & forensic evidence pointed strongly to the defendents' non invovement in the murders.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Unbelievable documentary that make you want to tear your hair out in frustration.. an eye opening watch.Published 6 months ago by Laura F.
this was so gritty I,m into true crime in a big way ,,this was so thought provoking ,the emotion from the victims family was so raw ,th13 hours interview tere was no crocodile... Read morePublished on 17 Jun. 2013 by blackcat12
Having already read the book on this terrible crime I just had to obtain the dvd and I just could not stop watching it (5 hours long). Read morePublished on 15 July 2012 by Mo
This set represents the 1st 2 films in the "Paradise Lost" trilogy, 3 documentaries, make
over a period of 15 years, following the case of 3 young men convicted of horrible... Read more