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196 Ratings

The Central Park Five

United States, 2012


A two-hour documentary about five New York teenagers whose convictions in the infamous 1989 Central Park jogger rape case were overturned after years spent in prison, and their current search for justice.

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The Central Park Five Directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon
Now, of course, New York is a much different place. But as this probing and essential documentary points out, the question still remains: Who does the city belong to?
January 03, 2013
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Photo montages and archival news footage provide context, anatomizing the violence, volatility, and demonization of young black men that infected the city in the 80s, and reminding us of our nation’s long history of lynching black men for imagined crimes against white women. That long view of history—a Burns family specialty—gives this sad, infuriating story the depth and despair of tragedy.
November 23, 2012
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Measured in tone and outraged in its argument, it is an emotionally stirring, at times crushingly depressing cinematic call to witness. It’s also frustrating because while it re-examines the assault on the jogger and painstakingly walks you through what happened to the teenagers — from their arrest through their absolution — it fails to add anything substantively new.
November 21, 2012
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