Into The Abyss: A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life
Dir: Werner Herzog
(USA 2011, 107 mins)
In 2001 two teenagers were imprisoned in Texas for a triple murder. Apparently motivated by wanting to steal a car, one was sentenced to death and the other given a life term. You may ask whether the world needs another death-row documentary, but in Werner Herzog’s hands a well-worn subject is approached afresh. The director asks unexpected questions (eg, ‘Tell me about an encounter with a squirrel”) and by talking to those who earn their crust from capital punishment (a chaplain, a corrections officer) he illuminates the whole sorry business. Typically, he also recommends that you see it with an audience in order to enjoy the film’s comic elements.