The Central Park Five DVD Review

The Central Park Five Poster-art-for-The-Central-Park-Five_event_main
DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Heartbreaking Documentary Revisits Shameful Rush to Judgment

Around 9 PM on April 19, 1989, a 28 year-old, female jogger was brutally beaten, sexually assaulted and left for dead in a wooded area of Central Park located off the beaten path. Because she was an investment banker with an Ivy League pedigree, the NYPD felt the pressure to apprehend the perpetrators of the heinous crime ASAP.

Within hours, cops had extracted confessions from Anton McCray, Kevin Richardson, Korey Wise, Yusef Salaam and Raymond Santana, Jr., teenagers who had been denied their right to an attorney. Although none of the five had ever been arrested before, they were all convicted of rape and attempted murder on the strength of those incriminating admissions alone.

Part of the explanation for the legal lynching was that the victim was a wealthy white woman while the accused were poor black kids from Harlem. The press was all too willing to exploit the hot button issues of color and class, and the media sensationalized the case’s lurid details, coining the term “wilding” to describe the alleged behavior of the defendants.

Real estate magnate Donald Trump even took out full-page ads in every New York City daily newspaper, calling for the death penalty and saying that the boys “should be executed for their crimes.” In the face of the vigilante-like demand for vengeance, no one seemed concerned that the suspects’ DNA failed to match the only semen found at the scene.

Sadly, they were only exonerated in 2002 after having completely served sentences ranging from 6 to 13 years when Matias Reyes, a serial rapist whose DNA was a match, confessed to the crime because of his guilty conscience. This gross miscarriage of justice is recounted in The Central Park Five, a riveting documentary co-directed by the father-daughter team of Ken and Sarah Burns, along with her husband, David McMahon.

The film features reams of archival footage, including videotapes of the framed quintet’s coerced confessions. Mixed in are present-day reflections by them, their lawyers, and relatives, as well as by politicians, prosecutors and other pivotal players.

A heartbreaking expose’ about a rush to judgment which ruined five, innocent young lives.

Excellent (4 stars)
Unrated
Running time: 119 minutes
Distributor: PBS/Sundance Selects
DVD Extras: A New York Wilding; an interview with the filmmakers; a behind-the-scenes featurette; The Making of featurette; and an update on the five defendants.

To see a trailer for The Central Park Five, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN-qE6-qq60

To purchase a copy of The Central Park Five on DVD, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00AZMFG48/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Real Estate

meteoric rise, money, mortgage rates, politics, Federal Reserve, interest rate, adjustable-rate mortgage, economy

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been … [Read More...]

More Posts from this Category

Travel

river cruise, American Queen Steamboat Company, Hop-On/Hop-Off, shore excursions, Mississippi River, Ohio & Tennessee Rivers, Steamboat Vacation, Lewis and Clark, adventure, Tom & Huck, Columbia & Snake River Cruises

Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation

  Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation by Amy Lignor   Many people love taking a cruise. But it is the river cruise on that glorious steamboat … [Read More...]

More Posts from this Category

Entertainment

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, Blu-ray Review, Jeff Kinney, Murphy's Law, Jason Drucker, Alicia Silverstone,Tom Everett Scott

Franchise Reboot Revolves around Road Trip from Hell

  Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams Franchise Reboot Revolves around Road Trip from Hell According to Murphy's Law, "Anything that can … [Read More...]

More Posts from this Category