After Amy Berg's powerful look at the sex-abuse cases surfacing throughout the Roman Catholic Church in Deliver Us from Evil, we've been anxious to take a closer look at her upcoming documentary West of Memphis. A trailer for the film centering on the famous case of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley has finally arrived, and it's an intense look at the drama three innocent boys — now men, newly released from death row — underwent in 1993. The West Memphis Three were convicted of murdering three eight-year-old boys in Arkansas. They spent 18 years in prison, but were finally released after massive efforts across the globe asserted the boys' innocence, helping to shine a light on the lack of case evidence.
Berg also cowrote the documentary with by Billy McMillin. Peter Jackson (yes, that Peter Jackson) and Damien Echols (one of the Three) are two of the producers. It must have been hard for Echols to relive this nightmare of a trial — from the accusations of occult activity, to the interrogation of friend Misskelley, which led to a false confession. On a semirelated note, Echols is on Twitter and is a fascinating follow for his poetic observations.
You'll note in the trailer that music plays a key role (similar to Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's Paradise Lost), and we can hear Pearl Jam's "Tremor Christ." Singer Eddie Vedder was one of many celebrities supporting the Three. Black Flag's Henry Rollins also makes an appearance in this clip (Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three helped with legal funds for the guys). Let us know what you make of the trailer. West of Memphis hits theaters December 25.
[Spotted via The Playlist]