The Thin Blue Line
This was my first time seeing this. It's an incredibly engaging and unsettling documentary and it is no surprise that it led to Adams' release. While I find reenactments to be slightly tedious outside of a 48 Hours Mystery episode, here they are constructed extremely well and are downright chilling at times. The way they recreate the crime scene from different perspectives is brilliant. It's also pretty infuriating. On top of this completely innocent guy being convicted of a senseless crime, you have these complete chuckleheads giving these false testimonies to get money and get out of armed robbery charges. Like you could really see the dude's curly hair while you were driving on the other side of the road in the dark. Get the fuck out.
Capturing the Friedmans
This was my first time watching this doc as well. It more or less made me want to vomit. The ambiguity of it all is really draining. You have so many people on both sides telling so many different stories, giving so many strong arguments, that it becomes very difficult to pick a side. You more or less know up front that the father is up to no good, but the son (as strange as his actions are throughout the film and especially before he gets locked up) is a question mark. You see him get out at the end and when he's hugging the mom it completely fucks with your emotions. Should you feel happy that a potentially wrongly convicted guy is out of jail or should you feel angry because he potentially was correctly convicted of sodomizing several children. The severity of what happened is just never very clear. The only vivid victim description we get is from the one kid who was hypnotized and could have potentially had a false memory planted in his mind. Then you have the father of one of the victims who claims that when his son was interviewed the investigator pretty much forced him to say what the investigator wanted to hear. And while the father (and possibly son) may have threatened the kids, which may have prevented them from telling anyone, don't you think there would have been some sort of sign that this had taken place? Wouldn't the wife have heard this going on at some point? When parents showed up randomly to pick up the kids, wouldn't one of them have walked in at some point over the course of several years and sensed something was wrong? I'm more on the side that they did commit these acts, but it's way too ambiguous to know the degree of what they did. This film also kind of ties in with the themes of Paradise Lost. They both deal with facades and how you can't allow that to influence how you feel about a case. Fascinating doc that raises a ton of questions and makes me go on an incoherent rant.