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Into the Abyss
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It's not Herzog's style to make the documentary equivalent of a persuasive essay and although he states that he's against capital punishment, his film makes no such statement. It looks at each person, presents each detail, and allows us to interpret this information ourselves. As you can expect from the work of this great filmmaker, the questions we're left with are far greater than a simple vote of "for" or "against" in regards to the death penalty.
Michael Perry is on death row for a triple homicide in Conroe, Texas. His accomplice, Jason Burkett, is serving a life sentence and is not eligible for parole until 2041. There is no implication of doubt over their guilt despite declarations of innocence, particularly from Perry. Both admit to being involved, but Perry pins the guilt on Burkett, while Burkett does likewise to Perry.Read more ›
This isn't an "issue" documentary, one concerned with facts and arguments. It has those things, but it is not about those things.
* "I do not do interviews. I'm not a journalist. I have no catalogue of questions. I have discourse. And I do not know where it will lead me. A goal is to look deep into the heart of ourselves."
Like most Herzog films, this was an ambitious undertaking, but it was ambitious for a different reason. "Fitzcarraldo" and "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" were ambitious because of immense logistical challenges. But this film was ambitious because he was trying to look 'into the abyss' of ourselves, and especially because he was trying to look 'into the abyss' of certain cautious and unrevealing rural Texans.
* "I was fascinated by this particular crime because of its senselessness."
Three people were killed for seemingly no other reason than a red Camaro--a red Camaro that the perpetrators kept for not even 72 hours before being detained, and a red Camaro that has since been impounded and eventually ruined when a tree grew through the floor.
* "While only eight hours of footage were shot to make the entire 118 minute film, the editing process was so intense that both the editor and I started smoking again."
The smoking paid off. There are some golden moments, like the preacher talking about his transcendent moment involving squirrels on a golf course, or the former executioner talking about living out the "dash" on the tombstone, or the cartoonish good ole' boy telling the story of getting stabbed with a screwdriver with almost clinical nonchalance.Read more ›
Ostensibly the film is about a triple homicide. Two disadvantaged and undereducated teens in Conroe, Texas (Michael Perry and Jason Burkett) decided on a grand scheme to steal a car. Their master plan resulted in three brutal and unnecessary deaths. Perry was thought to be the actual triggerman and received the death penalty while Burkett got life in jail. By interviewing friends and families of the accused and their victims, Herzog paints a pretty bleak portrait of a class system that created this environment of violence.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting story. I love documentaries and this one is so very well done. "Enjoyed" is the wrong word to use, but I did find it very enlightening.Published 2 months ago by K. Carsey
If you watch this more than once you can see huge holes, incredible witnesses a crazy women impregnated with her real husband's baby who was a soldier deployed at the time. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Angela Schroeder
This was indeed an art film, however gruesome and sad the story. It was very well done and covered many interesting aspects of the crime. Read morePublished 10 months ago by susan raja-rao
I love the way Herzog tells a story. You'll find the facts embedded within the individuals' stories. Read morePublished 18 months ago by haley sue
Werner Herzog is probably the most kaleidsocopic filmmaker the world of cinema has ever had.
His multiple concerns span from "Even dwarfs started small", cult... Read more