'Paradise Lost' Filmmakers React to Release of West Memphis Three

11:17 AM PST 08/19/2011 by Marisa Guthrie

“To see our work culminate in the righting of this tragic miscarriage of justice is more than a filmmaker could ask for,” says director Joe Berlinger.

Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky were in Jonesboro, Ark., Friday to witness the release of Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelly and to film the poignant ending to their third and final film about the case.

The three men, who were incarcerated for 18 years, were convicted in the 1993 murders of three eight-year-old boys who were found next to a muddy creek in the wooded Robin Hood Hills area of West Memphis, Ark.

Berlinger and Sinofsky’s first film in 1996, Paradise Lost: The Child Murders of Robin Hood Hills, galvanized support for the West Memphis 3 with a bevy of Hollywood A-listers, including Johnny Depp and Peter Jackson, turning the case into a cause célèbre. Berlinger and Sinofsky stayed with the case, producing a follow-up – Paradise Lost 2: Revelations – in 2000. Both films were shown on HBO. And the third and final installment -- Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory – will air on the network in January. It will recount the entire saga; from the arrests in 1993 to the growing movement, through the appeals process and the uncovering of new evidence and will conclude with their release. Purgatory is scheduled to premiere next month at the Toronto International Film Festival. 

“Eighteen years and three films ago, we started this journey to document the terrible murders of three innocent boys and the subsequent circus that followed the arrests and convictions of Baldwin, Echols and Misskelly,” Berlinger said in a statement. “To see our work culminate in the righting of this tragic miscarriage of justice is more than a filmmaker could ask for.”

Added Sinofsky: “Today, we, along with HBO, are humbled to be a part of this remarkable outcome.”

 

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