Glenn here. Each Tuesday bringing you reviews of documentaries from theatres, festivals and on demand.
The title of Deborah Esquenazi’s film Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four is not an accident. It has been done to deliberately reference both West of Memphis and The Central Park Five. Those two films were also true crime documentaries that focused on cases in which the wrong people – bundled together under one umbrella with a numerical media savvy nickname – were convicted of a heinous crime. The mistrials of justice in both of those cases were so monumental that multiple films, non-fiction and dramatic, exist about each.
It’s doubtful the same will become true of the San Antonio Four given the crimes for which the four women at the centre of its terribly heartbreaking story were charged and found guilty of were not as sensationally savage as those other stories. In fact, as Esquenazi’s film details, there was no crime at all. No bloodied body for which somebody absolutely had to held accountable. Rather, just a particularly cruel and shockingly stupid lie that steamrolled into the imprisonment of four innocent women. [more...]