So it has been quite a while since I’ve been in Hyderabad. And I must say the city is beginning to grow on me. And my current company keeps informed me about some of the good documentaries to watch. And hence, that is how I ended up watching the much-acclaimed ‘Murder on a Sunday Morning’ directed French director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade.
The documentary depicts the trial involving the murder of a woman tourist at Ramada Inn, Jacksonville on a Sunday Morning. The woman, who was accompanied by her husband during the time of the murder, was shot by a Black man who later fled with her purse. Based on this information, the police picked up Brenton Butler, a 15 year old student who was on his way to fill a job application at a nearby Blockbuster video store. The husband of the dead woman, identified him as the shooter and hence began a grueling trial that would shock many because of the loosely-framed case and evidence.
Brenton Butler was represented by Patrick McGuiness and Ann Finnell, two attorneys from the Public Defender’s office. The documentary follows a thriller-mode as it builds up the momentum to the date of the jury’s decision. The camera work is good and there are plenty of close ups as Jean Lestrade tries to capture a range of emotions ranging from the accused’s despair and confusion to the grief and hope of the parents, the determination and anger of the attorney, McGuiness to the solemn manner of the jury.
Does the famed legal system of the United States deliver justice finally? It does as the jury proclaims the accused not guilty in all accounts. Watch ‘Murder….’ if you are a fan of legal thriller with a slice of real life.
Verdict : A well-made documentary on a sensitive subject, handled with finesse.