Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Movie Review: Tales of the Grim Sleeper

This is a documentary by Nick Broomfield.  Instead of focusing on the crimes themselves, he focuses on the society and its priorities and values that led the crimes to go on for so many years.

Lonnie Franklin is charged with the murders of 10 women dating back to the 1980s.  They suspect many more. 

One of the things I liked in this film, was an actual ex-prostitute was going along with them and talking to people who probably wouldn't have normally talked to two white guys from the UK.  Some who had survived encounters with Franklin.  Some who on first talking go on and on with the usual, he's a good guy bs that friends always say, but then later tell of things that they knew of (one talks about torture he WITNESSED that he referred to as Lonnie having fun with screwdrivers and women.  Grinning while he said it.  Another one saying that women should not get in a car with Lonnie that they don't get back out.  LAUGHING while saying it.,

It is those moments that make the film more horrifying.  The complete LACK of horror at what was done to those women or that their 'friend' could do such things.

The women talk of crack and what they would do for it and how he exploited it. It isn't always what they say, it is how they say it that conveys the hopelessness of the killing grounds and the disinterest of the media and law enforcement that led him to get away with it for so many years.

The saddest thing is that if his son hadn't been arrested and his DNA put in the system, triggering a familial match, he would probably still be free.

This is not a sensational film about a serial killer, it is a commentary on South LA and the bleakness that let this unfold.



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