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Murder on a Sunday Morning (2001)

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Murder on a Sunday Morning (2001)

French filmmaker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade‘s 2001 Academy Award Winner for ‘Best Documentary‘  has it all: an innocent black teenager on trial for capital murder; a corrupt, lazy police force willing to do and say anything to convict this young man; court-room drama that equals some of the best Hollywood fare and a brilliant defence attorney, Patrick McGiunness, who’s willing to take them all on to prove the innocence of his client…

“The Academy Award-winning documentary Murder on a Sunday Afternoon, which originally aired on HBO as part of its America Undercover series, is a troubling look at modern police investigation that unfolds in a story as compelling and suspenseful as any fictional drama. French director Jean-Xavier De Lestrade’s intimate camerawork pulls viewers into the jury box to help decide the fate of 15-year-old Brenton Butler, a black resident of Jacksonville, Florida, who becomes the prime suspect in the shooting death of an elderly white woman simply because he was seen in the vicinity of the crime. Butler’s attorney, a magnetic public defender named Patrick McGuinness, must pit his legal skills against a mountain of shoddy investigative work and corruption to save his client from life in prison. Similar in intent to HBO’s Paradise Lost, Murder‘s white-knuckled pacing and a wealth of courtroom fireworks should leave true-crime and documentary fans breathless–and angry.” Paul Gaita

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