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Paradise Lost - The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills
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One of the most influential documentaries in recent years, the Sundance favorite PARADISE LOST is an emotionally raw, must-see crime doc from two of today's most exciting filmmakers--Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky (the team behind Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, Brother's Keeper).
This dark odyssey began with the tragic murders of three 8-year-old boys, whose bodies were discovered in a shallow creek in West Memphis, Arkansas. The community demanded justice, and one month later the police delivered: three local teenagers accused of sacrificing the boys as part of a Satanic ritual. Despite overwhelming public antipathy towards them, defendants Damian Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley steadfastly maintained their innocence. Although the trial produced virtually no physical evidence connecting the defendants to the crime, the town, the jury, and the police felt that they had their killers, and used the young men s penchant for heavy metal music and black clothing and a fascination with the Wicca religion as evidence of their guilt.
With unprecedented access to all the players, Berlinger and Sinofsky captured the events as they unfolded before their cameras. From actual courtroom footage and clandestine jailhouse interviews to behind-the-scenes strategy meetings and intimate portraits of grief-stricken families, PARADISE LOST is a shocking yet uniquely American real-life drama.
- Exclusive Trial Footage
- Timeline of Events
- Trial Updates
- Theatrical Trailer
- Filmmaker Biographies
- Interactive Menus
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- 45 Minutes of Previously Unreleased Footage
- Timeline of Events
- Appeal Updates
- Theatrical Trailer
- Filmmaker Biographies
Top Customer Reviews
First, please allow me to correct a few misconceptions from some of the other reviewers.
The Michael Moore mentioned in the credits refers to one of the little eight-year-old child murder victims, not the filmmaker.
A couple of reviewers mentioned a necklace worn by Damien Echols which supposedly had blood on it from some of the victims. Actually, nothing more determinable than common blood types was found. One almost microscopic spot on the pendant was consistent with the blood type of Damien Echols (one of the accused), the other micro-spot was consistent with the blood type shared by both Jason Baldwin (one of the accused) and Steven Branch (one of the eight-year-old victims) -- as well as 11% of the rest of the Caucasian population of the United States. All experts agree that tiny micro-spots of blood can be transferred by a number of ways--especially a teenage boy wearing the necklace against their bare skin. Police photos verify that Jason Baldwin had also worn Damien's necklace.Read more ›
Not that it's in my list of all-time favorite films; it's just that this is the kind of film that really knocks you back: it'll change your mind about a few things and really make you think. You won't be able to forget it.
Have you ever been in a plane when, just for second, it abruptly loses some altitude, and your stomach seems like it dropped through the floor? You're gonna feel like that for a couple of days or so after seeing this movie.
Without telling you too much, here's what you need to know: there has been a murder in rural Arkansas, and some local boys who don't quite fit in (i.e., they have been dressing in black and listening to Metallica) are fingered for it. The film, a gut-wrenching documentary, follows them through their trial and analyzes the evidence for and against their innocence. The film is especially recommended if you enjoy documentaries that get into forensic evidence.
I'm sure this happens a lot, but in this particular case the three boys had the good fortune of having HBO make a documentary about the trials while they were happening. Ever since then, they've had a big following of people who -- while perhaps not saying the three are innocent -- at least insist they were given capital sentences on some rather flimsy evidence. If you love stories of where the American justice system really goes off the rails -- not in one aspect or incident but systematically -- this film will be hard to match.Read more ›
What happened in this case could be called a modern day Witch hunt that was fueled by paranoia, lurid rumor, wild speculation and rush to judgment that led to the convictions of three innocent youth simply because they happened to be different from those in their community. So while this is also the story of three young boys who were murdered, which is tragic enough in itself, it is also one of three others that are being murdered by a legal system corrupted by ignorance, prejudice and hate. That there is absolutely no physical evidence of any kind linking any of the three to the murders should be alarming in itself to anyone who has any faith in the American legal system, and considering that the three were convicted solely on the weight of a coerced confession, which was later recanted, these facts should make any reasonable person seriously question what happened here. Not surprisingly, the same police officers who coerced a confession from Jessie Misskelly, a person who also suffers from mild retardation, have totally ignored the possibility of any other suspects and have deliberately destroyed evidence that contradicts the story they concocted.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I can't believe I've never heard of this case! I follow a lot of true crime and this slipped by me. Never heard of it til I stumbled upon this movie. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Judith A. Welch
Compelling to say the least! Forget making a murderer the West Memphis Three will keep you glued to the TV.. A must watch.Published 5 days ago by williamdeely
PLEASE NOTE: My comments are in reference to those involved in persecuting these boys, and not the countless officials across our country who actually DO their job, and get little... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Nikko
This movie was a blessing for these three. It got peoples attention & ultimately led to their release , even if it was 18 years later. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Angela Chambers
WATCH!!! This will make you angry and sad. Great job HBO. You saved these boys' lives.Published 7 days ago by Freddy_Two
Great documentary, horrible story. If you liked Making a Murderer, this is better.Published 8 days ago by carisa Bare
Intriguing, eye opening and a call to action for everyone to be concerned about our judicial system.Published 8 days ago by Christopher Lampo