About the Post

Author Information

I'm not a film critic, but I'll tell you what I think about the movies I watch. I enjoy understanding the history behind the movies we watch, as well as the collaborative effort necessary to produce movies.

Into the Abyss


Into the Abyss (2011)

Directed by Werner Herzog

This 2011 documentary is the work of Oscar nominated director Werner Herzog. His other films include documentaries like Encounters at the End of the World and films like Rescue Dawn. Herzog is a student of cinema and history who has been producing movies for over 40 years. This time he took on the story of Michael Perry and Jason Burkett, two young men convicted in the brutal killings of Sandra Stotler and two young men.

Michael Perry

Herzog is a wonderful documentary film maker. Throughout this film he is never seen on camera and allows the people to tell their stories with little interruption. The interviews with Perry were done in the weeks leading up to his execution, the last taking place only eight days before his scheduled death. Jason Burkett also told his story from prison where he’s serving a life sentence for his role in the crimes.

Jason Burkett

The film doesn’t just focus on the offenders. The victims, the investigating authorities, and the families of the convicted were also given a chance to share their stories. It’s especially powerful to hear the wife of Burkett talk about the relationship she has with the convicted killer. All of this allows for a film that doesn’t seem to take sides or focus on any one aspect of the horrible crime and the circumstances that surround it.

As a whole this film serves as a conversation starter on the subject of killing. Not only the death penalty, but also the reasons behind the killing of Sandra Stotler and two other people. As Perry proclaims his innocence, the film also reveals convincing evidence of his guilt. The end result is a powerful examination of a very sensitive subject.

I think this film might be the best I’ve ever seen on the subject of the capital punishment. If you’re a fan of documentaries or interested in the subject this film should be a great watch for you. Like I said earlier, this film does better than most to avoid taking sides. I give this film 4.2 out of 5 stars.

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 107 minutes

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Comments on “Into the Abyss”

  1. vinnieh June 27, 2012 at 12:54 PM #

    Wow excellent review. I’m not usually a fan of documentaries, but after reading this review my mind may have been changed.

    Like

    • jeffro517 June 27, 2012 at 2:31 PM #

      Thanks! This was suggested to me by a friend who has also recommended other docs by Herzog. I hope you do take the time.

      Like

  2. Brandon Conway June 29, 2012 at 9:59 AM #

    The best part is the interview with the security guard that use to be with the inmates on their last day before execution. Just one of the more vivid ways to examine the collateral damage of capital punishment.

    Like

    • jeffro517 June 29, 2012 at 10:31 AM #

      I’m somewhere in the middle on capital punishment. One of the reasons I liked this documentary was the fact that it didn’t seem to push one opinion or another despite Herzog’s own statement against it.

      Like

  3. Brandon Conway June 29, 2012 at 10:00 AM #

    Also, if you haven’t seen Grizzly Man you should bump it to the top of your list.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: