Home Movies “West Memphis 3” Doc Director Says “No” on Feature Film

Joe Berlinger, the award winning documentary filmmaker, has been covering the West Memphis 3 story since 1994. His first film, “Paradise Lost,” came out in 1996. The third in the series is coming next month, wrapping up 18 years of work. But Berlinger tells me he’s against a feature film being made. There are reports today that Canadian director Atom Egoyan has been working for all of six weeks to turn a book about the West Memphis 3 into a film. But the real story, and all the real material, comes from the two existing “Paradise Lost” films and the one that will debut in Toronto and at the New York Film Festival next month. Berlinger says, “I’ve had offers to turn a lot of my films, like Brother’s Keeper, into a feature film. I don’t think you can reduce these complexities to a dramatic structure.” Egoyan, I’m told, isn’t the only Johnny come lately trying to horn in on Berlinger’s work. An L.A. based filmmaker has been in town, according to sources, trying to make her own documentary. But in the end, the “Paradise Lost” films –with 18  years of blood, sweat and tears — are the only ones that matter.

2 replies to this post
  1. Joe Berlinger thinks he owns this story. Not true. I’m sure Egoyan will make a beautiful movie, given his sensitive and sophisticated filmmaking talents. Stick with the docs, Joe.

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