SoHo to Screen Peter Jackson Prequel in HD

Sky’s SoHo channel next month will screen in HD the HBO documentary, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory.

Made in 2011, it’s touted as being “the complete inside story” of the West Memphis Three who were wrongfully imprisoned for the murders of three eight-year-old boys in Arkansas in 1994.

It completes a trilogy of documentaries on the cause celebre that began with 1996’s Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hoods Hills and continued with 2000’s Paradise Lost 2: Revelations.

After seeing the original in 2005, Peter Jackson and his wife, Fran Walsh, “financed their own investigation” that led to their producing West of Memphis, which had its Sundance Film Festival premiere this weekend.

According to the publicity for Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, “In revisiting the legal firestorm that surrounded the case – one fraught with accusations of devil worship, allegations of coerced confessions and emotionally charged statements – the documentary brings to light recent DNA evidence, and reaches a stunning conclusion in which the West Memphis Three are finally set free.”

It screened January 12 in the US to acclaim from The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, the Chicago Sun-Times and Village Voice.

“Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s final film about the West Memphis Three demonstrates how the first two docs played a role in galvanising national support to free the wrongly convicted men,” said THR.

“While Purgatory acknowledges that the filmmakers are now part of the story, it doesn’t play up their role and certainly shares credit for the re-examination of the bizarre legal case with other media outlets.

“These are not strident films of advocacy, unless by that one means advocacy for justice. Every player is given due consideration in front of the camera.

“Only the viewer can help but notice the righteous certainty of many — the police investigator, trial judge and even some of the victims’ parents — fall from their faces as the years go by and new evidence comes forth.”

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory will premiere on February 24 at 8.30pm.

Next month, SoHo also will air in HD another HBO doco, I Am an Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA (February 29, 7.30pm) and later this month has the NZ HD premiere of The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (January 27, 8.30pm).

It investigates how for decades America’s gay and lesbian servicemen and women were prevented from living openly in the military until the law was repealed in 2011.

It follows this weekend’s HD premiere of the When Strangers Click: Five Stories From The Internet, which screens again 1.50pm Monday.

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