Critical Condition: Lorena

Lorena | Amazon Prime Video, from Friday

☆☆☆ “The Lorena Bobbitt case encompasses a multitude of issues that are equally relevant today, 26 years later: the tyranny of the 24-hour news cycle; the fear and shame that keep women from reporting abuse; the dangerous allure of instant celebrity; and above it all, our endless, unhealthy appetite for tawdry tabloid scandals — especially when they involve sex and a woman scorned … It’s a lot of cultural ground to cover — too much, it turns out, for four hour-long episodes.” — Entertainment Weekly.

☆☆☆☆ “By the end it’s abundantly clear that Lorena, like Lorena’s own defence team in 1994, sets out to prove that she didn’t cut off her husband’s penis for the hell of it as so many terrified men immediately assumed, but because she was a desperate woman trapped in a horrifically abusive marriage from which she saw no escape. It’s less trying to rewrite history than shine a stark light on it.” — Variety.

☆☆☆☆ “Executive produced by Jordan Peele, this four-hour documentary eventually finds interesting things about the infamous Lorena Bobbitt case, but it needs more and better focus … There are many reasons the story is relevant today and worthy of closer examination and reexamination. Many of them are covered here. It just takes too long to get there.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

☆☆☆ “Lorena Bobbitt, the woman who, with a single blow, turned millions of men into stomach sleepers, is the subject of a four-hour documentary debuting Friday, Feb. 15, on Amazon Prime, and it’s fascinating. Going in, it might be hard to imagine how four long hours were needed to explore the nuances and implications of the single act that made Lorena Bobbitt famous. But four hours later, it all makes sense.” — San Francisco Chronicle.

☆☆☆ “Rather than yet another dissection of the shortcomings of American justice, Joshua Rofé’s series highlights a case that could have changed the narrative on spousal abuse, but which instead became a freak show.” — Financial Times.
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