October 28, 2012 3:49pm PT by Scott Feinberg
'Central Park Five' Subjects Call on Tastemakers to 'Right This Wrong!' (Video)
Earlier this month in New York, THR was on hand as The Central Park Five -- one of the year's most acclaimed and controversial documentary features, which chronicles the story of the men who were falsely accused and wrongfully imprisoned in the infamous Central Park Jogger Case of 1989 -- was privately screened for a group of influential tastemakers, including sitting U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon, and legendary documentary filmmaker/Academy member Albert Maysles.
After the screening, two of the film's three co-writers/directors, the widely-renowned Ken Burns and his 29-year-old daughter Sarah Burns, along with two of the film's five subjects, Yusef Salaam and Raymond Santana Jr., participated in a lively Q&A, during which Simon also asked a question and Maysles publicly said, "I want to congratulate all of the filmmakers involved with this film. I would say that it complies with every single thing that makes for a good documentary, and it's going to make for a better world." (Video of the entire Q&A can be seen at the top of this post.)
Salaam said, "People think that this case was dealt with," when in fact it has just been "swept under the rug." He called on the audience to help to pressure the City of New York to "Right this wrong!" Santata chimed in, "We haven't even received an apology," adding, "A wrong was committed, and we want it righted." (It seems unlikely that this miscarriage of justice will be "righted" anytime soon, however, especially now that the City of New York has subpoenaed all of the filmmakers' materials. The filmmakers say they will not cooperate with the order, which they see as merely another in a long line of delay-tactics on the part of the City.)
The Central Park Five premiered at Cannes in May; played at Telluride and Toronto in September; and can next be seen at AFI Fest next week and as the closing night film of DOC NYC later in November, before opening in select theaters in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco on Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving. It will also be broadcast on public TV in April.