Into the Abyss details
|Formats:||12 DVD, Blu-ray|
|Original title||Werner Herzog|
|Collections:||Festival Favourites, Must Watch Docs|
By Tom Charity from LOVEFiLM
Director Werner Herzog's latest foray into documentary making looks at life on death row in a Texas prison.
Most helpful review
In Cold BloodBy FrankIV (534 reviews) from Cirencester, England , 10 May 2012
[Highly rated reviewer]Herzog steps into Truman Capote territory here with this account of murder and its aftermath. He states his point of view early in the film - he is against the death penalty - but does not present a biased view of events to persuade us to agree with him: for example, an interview in which a prison officer relates how he quit the service because he lost faith in the system having seen one execution too many is followed immediately by an interview with a relative (daughter and sister) of the murder victims saying how attending the execution of the murderer finally gave her some peace and, in that awful modern term, closure. In other words, the viewer is left to make his or her own mind up having been allowed to hear all sides of the story. At times, it feels a little exploitative - I'm not sure the hushed and somewhat prurient use of crime-scene footage was entirely necessary - but it is certainly an effective presentation of a sad and sorry story in which three people - four if you count the criminal - had to die violently because of wrong choices, lost opportunities and human weakness.
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Its awfulBy a customer , 18 Oct 2012I am against capital punishment,however it doesn't stop me thinking this is an awful film. If you like watching morning TV with families from hell telling you all their troubles, then watch this movie and you may enjoy it.
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Another great Herzog film.By MzBizkitz (67 reviews) , 13 Oct 2012Another great Werner Herzog film. He asks some very poignant questions throughout the film.
Capital punishment is such a big subject that films on it will always be intriguing.
As a documentary should beBy aliceboy (17 reviews) from Durham , 10 Oct 2012Herzog approaches his difficult subject as a seasoned documentarian should: objectively. This is no Michael Moore film, where there's just one opinion and it's presented as the only right one. Instead, Herzog takes his own feelings (that the death sentence is absolutely wrong) and puts them on the shelf to present the flipside of the argument (that there are heinous crimes and brutal criminals who are rescued by abandoning the death penalty).
The people we're shown are not sympathetic, nor are we emotionally manipulated into feeling any particular way about anything we see. Instead, we're given frank views of average middle- to low-income Americans in the rural South, and allowed to draw our own conclusions.
If there was a single thing about this film that didn't sit well with me, it was Herzog himself. We hear his voice performing the interviews, and his tone is often smarmy and slightly condescending. After about an hour of that, it got a bit tiring. The film would have been improved had he taken his voice out and edited the interviews around it, just to add that one last measure of objectivity.
This is not an easy film to watch, but one to think about and discuss, and certainly an unabashed look into the lives of some people the British public may not otherwise see.
The Blu-Ray offers no additional features to the film.
A humane insight to an inhumane act - executionBy a customer , 28 Sep 2012The film gives a powerful insight into all aspects of death row and illustrates how capital punishment is a barbaric and cruel act that not only ends up destroying the life of the condemned, but also the lives of prison staff whose job it is to conduct executions as a daily routine.
Disturbing filmBy a customer , 19 Sep 2012An excellent documentary style film provoking serious concerns about the Death Penalty, a cruel and unusual punishment in a so called civilised society.
The crime was a serious one, but the length of time spent on death row, in this case ten years, is a serious concern.