centralparkfive

Redbox has a limited inventory when it comes to documentary and foreign, but occasionally I will unearth something worth watching.  Based on the book by Sarah Burns, daughter of celebrated documentarian Ken Burns who co-directed it, “Central Park Five” is a riveting and unsettling feature doc about these 5 black and Latino teens who were wrongly charged and coerced to provide confessions on a brutal rape case in Central Park they didn’t commit.  The documentary hit on so many layers – injustice, race, aggressive investigation tactics, political agendas – all set against 1989, a unique window of time that’s not often portrayed in the media.  Even the way the kids dressed and the idea of ‘wilding’ were such a hallmark of that turn of the decade, it was fascinating to watch.  The film was chock-full of rich archival footage and the music was spot on for the times, from EPMD to Eric B. and Rakim.  The biggest takeaway from the film was how sad it was that these kids were essentially coerced to throw away the rest of their adolescence away, to simply go home that night, and ultimately meet the agenda of the lazy investigators, prosecutors, police, media, and everybody else who so desperately wanted to connect dots that weren’t there.  Go rent this. Also click here for the trailer.