Perennially provocative documentarian Nick Broomfield digs into the case of the notorious serial killer known as the “Grim Sleeper,” who terrorized South Central Los Angeles over a span of twenty-five years.
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I see Nick Broomfield as a sort of Buster Keaton figure putting himself in situations (the more impassively the better) and allowing situations to happen to him. Embedding himself in South Central Los Angeles in the wake of the arrest Lonnie David Franklin Jr. is to my mind the sveltest move he has yet made. This is jaw-dropping, excoriating sociology as well as true crime phantasmagoria. Like a fist in the gut.
Some powerful stuff, but it does seem a bit directionless in the tactics it uses to point out the failures of law enforcement, not just in catching the Grim Sleeper, but in exhibiting compassion for this community of remarkable individuals. The flurry of final interviews is masterfully edited, however.
And what's the deal with that one piece of music that sounds exactly like "Carlotta's Portrait" from Vertigo?
A serial killer who murdered 100 women in 25 years. Broomfield is right in asking, how is this possible. When searching for the answers, some very unpleasant truths start to surface. In the end, it’s not (just) a tale of serial killing, but of racial injustice, social division and the cost of silence. “Tales of Grim Sleeper” is a visit to the very dark corners of humanity.
This is a visual simple documentary yet it has a complex story of a serial killer and his victims of a 30 year killing spree in south central area of LA.There are no fancy reenactments nor fancy camera works,only gun-ho filmmaking seeking the truth at every street corner.We meet some extraordinary people who both knew the killer,the victims and the their quest for proving to the US that they're not a racial minority.
Field recordings from deep, deep within the howling abyss of misogyny. "One of the ways in which patriarchal white males used mass media to wage the war against feminism was to portray the violent woman-hating man as aberrant and abnormal" (bell hooks, The Will to Change, 130). Two men joke that the women would never get out of Franklin's van alive and members of the LAPD see the killing of WoC as convenient...
Pretty interesting documentary, but it fails to show the complete scope of things. The piece tries to paint the police force as being the culprits of the Grim Sleeper Murders. In reality, the police failed the community and the community are the dregs of society. In the end, everyone loses. Sad stuff.