Screening Room

MIPTV Picks 2013 Best in Show: The Central Park Five

In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested for the brutal rape of a white woman. In 1990, the boys were all convicted for the crime, despite inconsistent confessions and no DNA evidence connecting them to the event.
March 1, 2013

POLITICAL, SOCIAL & RELIGIOUS

Partners: Produced by Florentine Films; distributed by PBS International

Premiered: May 2012, Cannes Film Festival; TV premiere in April 2013 (PBS)

Length: 2 x 53 minutes or 1 x 117 minutes

Rights available: Worldwide excluding U.S.

In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested for the brutal rape of a white woman, who came to be known as the Central Park Jogger. In 1990, the boys were all convicted for the crime, despite inconsistent confessions and no DNA evidence connecting them to the event. The boys served their complete sentences – between six and 13 years – until a confession and DNA evidence from another man resulted in their convictions being vacated. This film from Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, examines how the societal constructs of the time, from the justice system to the media, impacted the case and ultimately, the lives of the Five.

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