Bonnie Siegler | Three Reasons

Three Reasons: The Thin Blue Line

Errol Morris is a genius. In 1988, he invented a new kind of documentary filmmaking, equal parts rigorous journalism and riveting entertainment. And for anyone who has been obsessed with The Jinx on HBO, as I have, you must see The Thin Blue Line to fully appreciate from whence it came. This is the granddaddy of The Jinx, Paradise Lost and its sequels, The Staircase, and all other modern true crime documentaries.

The Thin Blue Line
tells the story of the conviction of Darryl Adams and his subsequent death sentence, despite a clear lack of evidence. The Philip Glass score will haunt you long after the movie ends, which is a good thing. And as astounding and chilling as the injustice portrayed is, the accomplishments of this film and its revelations offer a glimmer of hope.

This Three Reasons represent the three pillars of the film:

1. The reenactments, which allow you to feel like a witness to the crime.
2. The interviews with lawyers, witnesses, and law enforcement agents, which give you behind-the-scenes access.
3. The interviews with the accused and the accuser, which let you decide who to believe.

Errol Morris doesn’t break it down like this, of course, but by making these three components distinct, we were able to call out the unique (especially for its time) qualities of the film, without explaining or giving away the entire story.

Watch here.

Jobs | February 23