REVIEW: THE PARADISE LOST TRILOGY
The 1994 case involving the gruesome murders of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, received international attention with the HBO broadcast of Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s (Metallica: Some Kind of Monster) Emmy®- and Peabody-winning documentary, Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996). The original film and the HBO sequel, Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (2000), raised serious questions about whether Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., who became known as the “West Memphis Three,” were truly guilty of the
Begun in 2004, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, the final installment of the trilogy, featured compelling new interviews with the West Memphis Three and key players, and covers new developments in the case that were unavailable during the original trials. After premiering at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, the film was expanded to include the dramatic release of the three men before it screened at the New York Film Festival. Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory was nominated for a 2012 Academy Award® for Best Documentary and two Emmy® Awards for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking and Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction
THE PARADISE LOST TRILOGY COLLECTOR’S EDITION, which includes all three films and a fourth bonus disc of material never before released on DVD, debuts for the first time on a 4-disc set on November 6 from Docurama Films, a label of Cinedigm Entertainment Group (NASDAQ: CIDM)..
The trilogy collector’s edition features over two hours of bonus material, including a never-before-seen interview with Jason Baldwin — his first as a free man — on the morning of his release from prison. Additional bonus includes rarely-seen and lost footage, deleted scenes, a press panel discussion with the West Memphis Three, and original bonus material from all three films. A 20-page collectible booklet featuring exclusive and, in some cases, never before seen photography spanning nearly two decades from behind the scenes of the films’ production is also
The award-winning filmmakers began filming right after the teenagers’ arrests in 1993 and continued until the moment they were finally released from prison under a plea deal two decades later – a collaboration with HBO that is unique in the annals of documentary filmmaking. For Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, the filmmakers embedded themselves in the community for nine months prior to the start of the first trial and obtained unprecedented access to attorneys for both sides of the case and the families of both victims and suspects. They also revealed riveting courtroom footage of the teens on trial and a portrait of a community in the aftermath of a horrific crime. Four years later, the filmmakers covered the flawed appeals process in Revelations, following new leads and profiling the growing international movement to free the West Memphis
While in prison, the West Memphis Three garnered much attention from the media and celebrities including Johnny Depp, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks, and the support of WM3.org’s “Arkansas Take
With an extraordinary perspective of three films spanning nearly two decades, THE PARADISE LOST TRILOGY COLLECTOR’S EDITION creates a portrait of the American justice system that is at turns terrifying, heartbreaking and mesmerizing, ultimately demonstrating the power of cinema to effect social change.
Dolby 2.0 and DTS Surround Sound
Never-Before-Seen Complete 30-minute Interview with Jason Baldwin on the morning of his release from prison.
Booklet: Includes never-before-seen photography annotated by filmmaker Joe Berlinger, spanning nearly two decades from behind the scenes of the films’ production.
Press Day Panel Discussion at HBO studios with Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr.,
gathered for the first time since their prison release to discuss life during and after prison, the support from the public, and the judicial and political actions in Arkansas.
Filmmakers: Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky reflect on their arrival in West Memphis, the making of their latest film, and their reactions to the prison release.
1. Jessie Misskelley Jr. speaks to his girlfriend, Susie, on the phone while he is in prison. After 15 years, he receives a letter from her for the very first time since they were together.
2. John Mark Byers reflects on his portrayal in the Paradise Lost films.
3. Jessie Misskelley Sr. talks about the threats he’s received since his son, Jessie Misskelley, was arrested. In 2010, John Mark Byers apologizes to Jessie Misskelley Sr. for threatening and accusing his son of
1. Jessie Misskelley Jr. meets with his lawyer, Dan Stidham, pre-trial.
2. In three individual interviews, Damien Echols shares his thoughts about being executed and what the future has in store for him. Jason Baldwin talks about his friendship with Damien and the details of his arrest.
3. Two interviews with West Memphis Chief Inspector Gary Gitchell reveal his thoughts on the murders and the complexity of the case.
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