The case of the West Memphis 3 (WM3) is a long and complex story. In 1993 Three teenage boys were convicted of murdering three little boys in Arkansas. Two were given life sentences while the third was sentenced to death. Early in the case a crew of HBO filmmakers documented their trial in a film called Paradise Lost and revealed to the world that the 3 teens were almost certainly innocent. Over the years two more Paradise Lost films were made and with them came a global campaign to get the WM3 freed. I have personally followed and supported the WM3 since 1997 and have held several fundraisers... now comes West of Memphis, a new documentary produced by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh. Many years ago Jackson and Walsh jumped to action and started to fund the legal defence of the three. Millions of dollars were spent and as most of the word knows by now, the three were eventually released under an absurd legal move called the Alford Plea. Its complex stuff but worth reading into. The Paradise Lost films focused on the probabilities of the WM3's innocence and highlighted the absolute lack of evidence linking them to the crime, whereas West Of Memphis takes a different approach and points its fingers directly at a suspect. Its an affective film but I did have a lot of reservations about it. Firstly I don't think it gives the Paradise Lost series enough credit. Without those films these men would not be free and those films makers (Bruce Sinofsky & Joe Berlinger) put in the hard yards of presenting this case to the world for over 20 years. Secondly while the suspect that Jackson and co have pointed the finger at does definitely look guilty and was even suggested in Paradise Lost 3, to string him up and flog him publicly like this is not much different to the lynching that landed the WM3 in prison. More care needs to be taken and while the film does present evidence it could be a slippery slope should he be proven not guilty. I feel like I have a personal connection with the WM3 having followed it actively over the years and so the most awareness raised, the better. I welcomed West Of Memphis with open arms and encourage it's ongoing attempt to bring new evidence to light (their case continues as the Alford Plea maintains their guilt) but it's also important to know how documentaries work. ALL docos have an agenda and its an easy format to manipulate. West of Memphis does get lost in it's own sense of justice and I hope a follow up gets made to properly conclude their ferocious accusations... FYI a feature length film is being made about the WM3. It's called Devil's Knot and is being directed by renowned film maker Aton Egoyan (he's ideal for it). Hopefully that film will draw the rest of the world into this case and help bring justice to these men!