Google+

The Central Park Five DVD Review

The Central Park Five Poster-art-for-The-Central-Park-Five_event_main
DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Heartbreaking Documentary Revisits Shameful Rush to Judgment

Around 9 PM on April 19, 1989, a 28 year-old, female jogger was brutally beaten, sexually assaulted and left for dead in a wooded area of Central Park located off the beaten path. Because she was an investment banker with an Ivy League pedigree, the NYPD felt the pressure to apprehend the perpetrators of the heinous crime ASAP.

Within hours, cops had extracted confessions from Anton McCray, Kevin Richardson, Korey Wise, Yusef Salaam and Raymond Santana, Jr., teenagers who had been denied their right to an attorney. Although none of the five had ever been arrested before, they were all convicted of rape and attempted murder on the strength of those incriminating admissions alone.

Part of the explanation for the legal lynching was that the victim was a wealthy white woman while the accused were poor black kids from Harlem. The press was all too willing to exploit the hot button issues of color and class, and the media sensationalized the case’s lurid details, coining the term “wilding” to describe the alleged behavior of the defendants.

Real estate magnate Donald Trump even took out full-page ads in every New York City daily newspaper, calling for the death penalty and saying that the boys “should be executed for their crimes.” In the face of the vigilante-like demand for vengeance, no one seemed concerned that the suspects’ DNA failed to match the only semen found at the scene.

Sadly, they were only exonerated in 2002 after having completely served sentences ranging from 6 to 13 years when Matias Reyes, a serial rapist whose DNA was a match, confessed to the crime because of his guilty conscience. This gross miscarriage of justice is recounted in The Central Park Five, a riveting documentary co-directed by the father-daughter team of Ken and Sarah Burns, along with her husband, David McMahon.

The film features reams of archival footage, including videotapes of the framed quintet’s coerced confessions. Mixed in are present-day reflections by them, their lawyers, and relatives, as well as by politicians, prosecutors and other pivotal players.

A heartbreaking expose’ about a rush to judgment which ruined five, innocent young lives.

Excellent (4 stars)
Unrated
Running time: 119 minutes
Distributor: PBS/Sundance Selects
DVD Extras: A New York Wilding; an interview with the filmmakers; a behind-the-scenes featurette; The Making of featurette; and an update on the five defendants.

To see a trailer for The Central Park Five, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN-qE6-qq60

To purchase a copy of The Central Park Five on DVD, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00AZMFG48/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Entertainment

Blake Lively Shines as Surfer Stranded in Shark-Infested Waters

  The Shallows Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams Blake Lively Shines as Surfer Stranded in Shark-Infested Waters Nancy Adams (Blake Lively) was so shaken by her mother's (Janelle Bailey) untimely death that she's dropped out of med school. In order to feel closer to her dearly departed mom, she's decided to vacation at the same exotic Mexican retreat where she was reportedly conceived back in 1991. An avid surfer, she also plans to search … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

More Than a Score

  ACRONYM TO FOLLOW by Peter Brav   Finally Our Day has come There’s a Day for everything For doughnuts, siblings, eight track tapes Grilled cheese, daughters and sons to work Encouragement, Alzheimer’s Coffee, math, chewing gum Blasphemy, yo-yos And now finally One for us Truly a Day to celebrate National Don’t Shoot An Unarmed Brother Doctor King Not Seeing Progress George Orwell Laughing It Is So About the … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

230 LXF from Tidewater Packs A Punch in a Small Package

  230 LXF from Tidewater Packs A Punch in a Small Package By Ted Lund Are you looking for a family-friendly center console that’s got the luxury of a larger boat in a smaller package? Then look no further than the 230 LXF from Tidewater. The 23-foot, center console has the same features as the rest its large LXF brothers, including comfortable full upholstery, stainless steel cup holders. And a newly-designed console with glove box and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

The Season Begins

  The Season Begins by Amy Lignor   Yes, it’s finally time to get down to some real business when it comes to the world of sports. (No offense to Serena at the U.S. Open, but her constant winning is not exactly new.) All this rain across the country has assured that lawns will be overgrown come Monday morning, unless citizens decide to use Saturday to mow. Why is that? Because football is back and Sundays are no longer “nothing to … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Scholastic Announces Sales of More Than 3.3 Million Copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

  Scholastic Announces Sales of More Than 3.3 Million Copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two New York, NY (August 10, 2016) — Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two script book, the eighth Harry Potter story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne, published in the U.S. and Canada by Scholastic has sold more than 3.3 million copies in North America to date.Scholastic announced a first printing … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Vacation Time Has Turned “Spooky”

  Vacation Time Has Turned “Spooky” by Amy Lignor   Myths and legends, both spooky and surreal, are becoming the subject of many books and newspaper articles lately. And the location of many, oddly enough, happen to be in the Southwest. It used to be that a nice white sandy beach was the one place we yearned to go on vacation to get away from it all. Now, however, people are searching for places to travel where legends still exist, and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Doing Our Part

  Doing Our Part by Amy Lignor   There are books being published as of late – wonderful books telling the stories of amazing wildlife rescues, as well as neighborhoods and communities across the U.S. that have taken on projects to save the wildlife in their own surrounding areas.   We always talk about these “success stories,” yet never actually give information on exactly how these “problems” turned into “victories.” … [Read More its Good for You...]