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The Trials of Darryl Hunt (2008)

Darryl Hunt , Annie Sundberg , Ricki Stern  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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The Trials of Darryl Hunt + Murder on a Sunday Morning + The Interrogation of Michael Crowe
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Product Details

  • Actors: Darryl Hunt
  • Directors: Annie Sundberg, Ricki Stern
  • Writers: Ricki Stern, Anne Sundberg
  • Producers: William Rexer, Ricki Stern, Anne Sundberg, Katie Brown
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: IMAGE/THINKFILM
  • DVD Release Date: July 10, 2006
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000S0SYHI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,626 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Trials of Darryl Hunt" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

THE TRIALS OF DARYL HUNT documents the aftermath of a brutal rape/murder and harrowing wrongful conviction in the modern American South. Told from the point-of-view of three principal subjects, an enterprising investigative journalist; an unyielding defense attorney; and a wrongfully convicted man, the film offers an eye-opening, provocative and haunting examination of a community - and a criminal justice system - subject to racial bias and tainted by fear. Chronicling this capital case from 1984 through 2004, filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg painstakingly frame the judicial and emotional responses to this chilling crime - and the implications surrounding Darryl Hunt's wrongful conviction - against a backdrop of class and bigotry in America.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Film Review:
Official 2006 Sundance selection, The Trials of Daryl Hunt (Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg) is an intensely focused, highly compelling study of racism and miscarriage of justice in North Carolina, almost twenty years in the making. It is the story of young black man wrongly accused of the rape and murder of a young white woman and the blatant ignorance and criminal negligence of the justice system which condemns and nearly destroys Daryl Hunt, while covering up its own errors and allowing the actual killer to remain at large. It is bizarre to watch the proceedings, and the court constantly denying a man his freedom (19 years of jail time) in the face of wholly unreliable witnesses, a lack of a murder weapon and even DNA evidence. The prosecution seems to desperately grasp at any possible scenario which may allow that they had the right criminal all along.

Even when the man is finally released, it is with prejudice. We learn of police intimidation of real witnesses and the viewer can only imagine that the entire system is trying to erase all trace of its shoddy prosecution and save face while a man longs for freedom. As angering as the film can be, it is also inspiring to watch Hunt remain gentle, strong and hopeful, even thankful to his supporters, friends and defense lawyers with a true sense of justice-by the end of the film, which is full of candid moments of his support team, we know that all these men have suffered along with Hunt.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Depressing and uplifting documentary September 28, 2008
Format:DVD
On August 10, 1984, Deborah Sykes, a young, white newspaper editor living in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was brutally raped and murdered by an unknown assailant. Suspicion quickly fell on a black man by the name of Darryl Hunt, even though no weapon or physical evidence linking him to the crime was ever brought forth by the police investigating the case. This meant that Hunt was essentially convicted of 1st degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment solely on the basis of what even the most disinterested of observers would conclude was eyewitness testimony of a shockingly shoddy nature. Due to the racist overtones that inevitably attach themselves to such a crime, the case quickly became a cause celebre in the press, leading to stark racial divisions in the community and to various retrials over the years.

Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg, the makers of "The Trials of Darryl Hunt," began actively chronicling the events of this story at around the time of the second trial. They've combined file footage - i.e. news reports and interviews - from the time of the original trial with what they themselves have filmed over a decade and a half of involvement with the case. The result is an eye-opening but often depressing look at the sorry state of the legal system in this country. Yet, the movie is also a celebration of those who never gave up fighting for the cause of justice not merely for this one man and others like him but for the system itself.

Most impressive of all is Hunt himself, who despite being incarcerated for a crime he didn't commit, has managed to hold onto a purity of spirit that shines forth through his every word and action. I doubt many of us could endure such an ordeal and still emerge this untainted and optimistic about life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American Injustice at Its Finest May 15, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Serving 30 years imprisonment for a crime he did not commit, Darryl Hunt's very real story of long overdue vindication and a justice system to eager to place blame and not actively seek Truth is a great testament to one man's indefatiguable spirit as well as the importance and value of DNA evidence in the exoneration of the innocent as well as conviction of the guilty. From HBO Documentary Films, it is yet another in their long line of truly exceptional effort to raise the bar on documentary filmmaking all the while providing quality entertainment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death Penalty June 1, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Fight the good fight. Help end the death penalty in North Carolina and nationwide. What margin of error are we willing to tolerate?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Story May 16, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This DVD came within a reasonable time and in good condition. I never heard of this story until I found this dvd in the library. I decided to add it to my library for my grandchildren. I am collecting all the information I can. This story tells of injustice, patience, dilligence and determination. This man was finally freed after many years. I like it when things come together even if it takes a long time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Class paper April 5, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this because I had to write a paper on Darryl Hunt and think it was affordable and a sad story too.
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