Ken Burns might be (read: probably is) our best living documentary filmmaker, the kind of craftsman who can make any topic absorbing enough to justify what are, frequently, runtimes of more than 10 hours. Those are great, informative, and whatnot, but his next project — from what I can tell, also his first theatrical work — runs at a measly 119 minutes.
The project is Central Park Five, a documentary focusing on the famed Central Park Jogger Case — in which five teens (African-American and Hispanic all) were tried and convicted of assaulting and raping a female jogger one night in Central Park. With said convictions being a bit hasty in the first place, you can probably venture a guess as to where things went from there.
Directed with his daughter, Sarah, and David McMahon, it’s a “historical record,” yes — I suppose every documentary is, to be fair — though the subject is much more specific, recent, and disturbing than his past outings. (Heck, I’d even say this trailer plays out like a legal thriller.) Should it air on PBS over the coming months, I think it’s a good idea to be on the lookout.
Watch the trailer below:
Synopsis: The devastating new documentary by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon on the infamous “Central Park Jogger” case details how a rush to judgment by police, media and an outraged public led to five black and Latino teenagers being convicted for a heinous crime that they did not commit.
TIFF kicks off on September 6th.
Does Burns appear to be covering good ground with Central Park Five?