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Top Customer Reviews
"Brother's Keeper" is one of those rare films in which everything perfectly falls into place. It's not just the documentation of an odd murder trial in a forgotten part of the US, but a multi-leveled story about -- well, just about everything.
One of those many things is a cautionary tale of how the legal system can and will do _anything_ to convict _somebody_, whether or not a crime has been committed. It's a perfect real-life example of why The Police and the Prosecutors Cannot Be Trusted.
For me, the best thing about "Brother's Keeper" is the way a town of what "we" would consider moronic hicks displays a level of intelligence, common sense, and compassion that "educated" folk rarely, if ever, approach.
"Brother's Keeper" also has one of the most heart-rending scenes you'll ever see. Keep the Kleenex handy.
The DVD is an improvement over the LaserDisk. It's slightly sharper (though not much -- the source material is 16mm film) and the colors are brighter and less muddy. Contrary to some listings, this is neither a widescreen film, nor is the sound stereo.
I've seen "Brother's Keeper" rated variously as G or R (!!!), but it has no official MPAA rating. Parents concerned about what their children view should note that a live pig is butchered in graphic detail. There are also several scenes covering the police's invention of a mind-bogglingly preposterous "motive" for Delbert murdering William. For those who haven't seen the film, I won't reveal it, but it's something most parents would prefer not to discuss with pre-teens.Read more ›
Initially, the viewer responds to the sheer oddness of the Ward brothers, their way of life, their extraordinary social isolation, and the way of life they have carved for themselves, which was utterly unlike that of the rest of American society. At times, one feels one is taking a vacation trip along the edge of the abyss. Gradually, however, the film takes on far more nuanced and subtle aspects in relating their story to the town as a whole, and their growing support of one of their residents being judged and accused by outsiders.
This is not a movie that clears up any mysteries or comes to any firm conclusions. Filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky start off with a perplexing possible crime and end in a confusing fog. One doesn't know quite what to think (though a possible mercy killing of Bill, who was ill at the time of his death, seems a possibility). But the depth and power of the film is undeniable, and it unquestionably belongs on a short list of the best documentary films of recent decades.
Reeling from the alleged murder of 64-year-old Bill Ward by his brother Delbert, the Ward family and their neighbors circle their wagons in support of Delbert. From the get-go we're aware of the Ward brothers' minimal education and unhealthy lifestyle (their home is a stinking shack surrounded by a dairy farm). We're also privy to the fact that Bill was not a well man. His illness is never fully explained, but one could easily surmise cancer as a cause. Initially the story seems bent toward a mercy killing; Delbert smothering brother Bill one night to "put him out of his misery." But then homosexual incest rears up (none of the Ward brothers were married), as does animosity between the brothers.
Delbert initially confesses to the murder, but without legal representation present and without apparent knowledge of his rights (a pretty big mistake from a legal standpoint). Delbert is arrested but quickly posts bail thanks to the rural community rallying to his side. No one can believe that Delbert killed Bill. Indeed, Delbert confesses his innocence and states that the only reason he admitted to killing Bill was because he wanted to "get back home."
Receiving multiple nominations at film festivals across the globe in 1992, BROTHER'S KEEPER holds quite the moral quagmire for viewers. Some will view Delbert's confession as solid proof that he did it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
OUTSTANDING!! This movie is from a different generation, yet "people" internally remain the same. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Karen Lewis
Excellent film. Bruce sinofski is a great documentarian. Don't expect the most interesting plot.Published 10 months ago by Travis Allen
A great, ambling account of a yokel murder case. Film-makers get an extra half-star for inhaling near the Ward boys. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Peter Jakobsen
The Ward boys live in filth and they stink. The neighbours, who would usually avoid them like the plague which they fear they might actually carry, rally round them rather... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Lesley Jenkins