Friday, July 27, 2012

watching for... into the abyss

July 2012: currently showing on Canadian Netflix

Nine years after the murder of three people in Montgomery, Texas, in 2001, Werner Herzog patiently but persistently interviewed the convicted killers, as well as the victims' relatives, the chaplain who presides at the prison's executions, and a former executioner who has lost his taste for the work. As in Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood," the crime itself is unimaginably stupid (two nineteen-year-old boys set out to steal a car and wound up committing the murders), and Herzog's attention moves to the pathology that produced them and the devastation left in the wake of the crime. It is yet another of Herzog's leaps into moral chaos, but there are elements of love and self-knowledge in the families of both victims and perpetrators that are extremely moving. You come out shaken by the fathomless destructiveness of idiocy and the healing powers of belief and remediation. The New Yorker, David Denby

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