AFI Festival: The Central Park Five (2012) is a documentary about when law enforcement blamed one of New York’s most well-known crimes on five boys. The filmmakers, angered by the injustice, called into question whether or not the authorities that the public thinks are there to enforce the law really does that. Based on the true accounts of the five innocent boys; Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise, who were accused, tried, and found guilty for raping a jogger, Trisha Meili, in Central Park, New York, in April of 1989. Sarah Burns, in collaboration with Ken Burns and David McMahon, chronologically shows both sides if the case, supporting events with some who were involved and others who could explain why five innocent young boys would confess to something they didn’t do.
From beginning until the end, the audiences were on the sides of the five boys who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. While watching testimonies from family members, specialists, and themselves, many sniffles could be heard as the young boys were put through the guilty charges. Their journey and success moved many in the audience to tears as their heartache and jubilation resonated through the theater. Afterwards, three if the five joined the directors during the shirt Q&A session, Santana stating that it was part of the healing process necessary for them to move on. Having served time for a crime neither of them committed, they wanted others to know their stories and support their lawsuit, filed in 2003, against the New York justice system. Hoping to be picked up by PBS, The Central Park Five will open in three theaters in New York in the coming weeks. May justice be served to those who corrupted the system and deserve it.
Tags: Antron McCray, Central Park, Central Park Jogger case, Crime in New York City, David McMahon, day 3, documentary, fest, film festival, Ken Burns, Kevin Richardson, Korey Wise, law enforcement, Law/Crime, Linda Fairstein, New York, New York City, Raymond Santana, Sarah Burns, The Central Park Five, Trisha Meili, Yusef Salaam