The Thin Blue Line (4/20/12)

The Thin Blue LineMovie Eighty Nine

The Thin Blue Line is an atypical documentary about the murder case of a police officer where events portrayed are in the past and reenacted for the film, but the details slowly unravel and show the facts have changed.

The focal point of the film is Randall Dale Adams, who was falsely accused and sentenced to death for the 1976 murder of a police officer. The crux of the case came from the testimony of a young drifter named David Ray Harris. The film begins with interviews from the two men and then builds the rest of the evidence from the case as well as the background of area and the people. We soon start seeing a picture of injustice.

Normally, I balk at documentaries that force a viewpoint on you and show a biased set of actions but The Thin Blue Line seems to be mostly unbiased, actually. My initial concerns were soon gone as the film progressed. The interesting thing about the film, looking back now, is that this was all done before DNA evidence still. I’m sure there are countless wrong convictions, some of which have since been overturned with new DNA evidence, but that isn’t the case here. The new evidence is a clear showing of a lack of wanting a conviction for the wrong person.

For those of you that prefer reading to viewing a movie, I was very much reminded of the nonfiction John Grisham story The Innocent Man. It’s a similar case of small town injustice in the legal system.

While The Thin Blue Line is a bit dated, it’s very interesting. I love documentaries that still let you decide things for yourself without being too slanted and I have never seen quite a film such as this. Immediately after watching, I took to the Internet to find out more, a sign that the film did its job.

I give it 4 spilled milkshakes out of 5.

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