2012 ACADEMY AWARD® AND EMMY® AWARD NOMINEE “PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY” RELEASES AUGUST 14 ON DVD; TRILOGY COLLECTOR’S EDITION RELEASES NOVEMBER 6
First-Ever Trilogy from Docurama Films Chronicles “West Memphis Three” from Their Arrests in June 1993 to Their Release from Prison in August 2011
July 19, 2012 – New York, New York – In 1994, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr. were tried and convicted for the murders of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. The case received international attention with the HBO broadcast of filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s 1996 Emmy®-and Peabody winning documentary, Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills. Both the original film and the 2000 HBO sequel, Paradise Lost 2: Revelations, raised serious questions about whether the teenagers, who became known as the “West Memphis Three,” were truly guilty of the murders.
PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY, the final installment of HBO’s Paradise Lost trilogy, will release on DVD on August 14, one year after the West Memphis Three’s historic release from prison in August 2011. At that time, many in the media credited the films with playing a significant role in the three men winning their freedom. THE PARADISE LOST TRILOGY COLLECTOR’S EDITION, which includes all three films and a bonus disc, releases on November 6. The collector’s edition includes over an hour of rarely-seen footage, a never-before-seen complete interview with Jason Baldwin — his first interview as a free man — on the morning of his release from prison, and a collectible booklet featuring exclusive photography spanning nearly two decades from behind-the-scenes of the films’ production.
The award-winning filmmakers began filming days after the teenagers’ arrests in 1993 until the moment they were finally released from prison under a plea deal. For the original Paradise Lost film, the filmmakers embedded themselves in the community for nine months prior to the start of the first trial and obtained unprecedented access to attorneys for both sides of the case and the families of both victims and suspects. They also revealed riveting courtroom footage of the teens on trial and a portrait of a community in the aftermath of a horrific crime. Four years later, the filmmakers covered the flawed appeals process in Revelations, following new leads and profiling the growing international movement to free the West Memphis Three.
Berlinger and Sinofsky began filming the conclusion to their trilogy in 2004. New developments from the case that were unavailable during the originals trials — allegations of juror misconduct, recent DNA and forensic evidence — are brought to light in the latest installment. PURGATORY features new interviews with Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley from prison, plus news coverage of the case and additional interviews with family, friends and key participants in the trials.
“When HBO sent us down to look into this case just days after the arrests of the West Memphis Three, we had no idea we were embarking on a three-film, two-decade mission to shed light on this unimaginable miscarriage of justice,” said filmmaker Joe Berlinger. Added co-director Sinofsky: “It’s a once in a lifetime experience to be part of something like this and we are delighted that New Video is making the third film available on DVD in addition to putting together a very special collectors’ edition of this trilogy.”
During their 18 years in prison, the West Memphis Three have garnered much attention from the media, celebrities including Johnny Depp, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks, and support groups including “Arkansas Take Action” and “Free the West Memphis 3.”
With an extraordinary perspective of three films spanning nearly two decades, the Paradise Lost trilogy is a provocative examination of American justice and a celebration of the power of cinema to effect social change.
PURGATORY was nominated for a 2012 Academy Award® for Best Documentary, two Emmy® Awards: Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking and Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming, and received the National Board of Review’s Best Documentary Award. The film was nominated for the 2012 Director’s Guild of America Award (DGA) for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary and received the “Most Valuable Documentary of the Year” award at Berlin’s Cinema for Peace Awards. After premiering at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, the film was re-edited to include the dramatic release of the three men before it screened at the New York Film Festival.
HBO Documentary Films Presents a @Radical.Media production, a Film by Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky: “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory,” Directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky; Produced by Joe Berlinger; Edited by Alyse Ardell Spiegel; Director Of Photography Bob Richman; Producer and 2nd Unit Director Jonathan Silberberg; Co-Producer Michael Bonfiglio; Original Score By Wendy Blackstone; Featuring Songs By Metallica; Sound Recordist Eddie O’Connor; Additional Editor David Mehlman; For HBO: Senior Producer Nancy Abraham; Executive Producer Sheila Nevins.
The DVD includes:
- Four Bonus Scenes: Blood on the Necklace, Evidence Lost, The Prosecution’s Case and A Recantation. The scenes reveal crucial evidence lost by the police, courtroom footage and testimonies from witnesses not shown in the film.
- Press Day Panel Discussion at HBO studios with Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr. They gather for the first time since their prison release and discuss life during and after prison, the support from the public and the judicial and political actions in Arkansas.
- Interview with Filmmakers: Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky reflect on their arrival in West Memphis, the making of their latest film and their reactions to the prison release.
- Filmmaker Bios
PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY
Pricing: $29.95 US
Runtime: 121 mins. + extras
Catalog #: NNVG272811
Audio Format: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
PARADISE LOST TRILOGY COLLECTOR’S EDITION
Pricing: $49.95 US
Runtime: 6 hrs., 41 mins. + extras
Catalog #: NNVG278500
Audio Format: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
About Docurama Films
In 1999, NEW VIDEO launched Docurama Films® with the first feature documentary ever available on DVD: D.A. Pennebaker’s Bob Dylan: Dont Look Back. Twelve years and 300 award-winning, highly-acclaimed titles later, Docurama continues to discover and release the greatest non-fiction films of our time while spreading the word about filmmakers who are taking the form to new heights. Docurama’s catalog features the performing and visual arts, history, politics, the environment, ethnic and gender interests, and all-time favorites including The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, Andy Goldsworthy: Rivers and Tides and King Corn. Recent titles include the 2011 Oscar®-nominated films Gasland and Hell and Back Again.
About New Video
New Video, a Cinedigm company, is a leading entertainment distributor and the largest aggregator of independent digital content worldwide. Headquartered in New York City, with an international presence in 45 territories, the company delivers feature films, TV programs and web originals via digital download, streaming, video-on-demand, Blu-ray, DVD, and theatrical release. In 2011, New Video bowed Oscar®-nominated Hell and Back Again and international blockbuster Elite Squad: The Enemy Within in U.S. theaters. The company’s library includes original TV series and movies from A+E® Home Entertainment, HISTORY™, and Lifetime®, unforgettable games and trophy sets from Major League Baseball®, storybook treasures from Scholastic®, award-winning documentaries from Docurama Films®, next-gen indies from Flatiron Film Company®, and acclaimed independent films and festival picks through partnerships with the Sundance Institute and Tribeca Film. New Video is proud to distribute many Oscar®-nominated films including GasLand, Waste Land, The Secret of Kells and Chico & Rita. Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. (CIDM) is a leader in providing the services, expertise and technology that are critical to transforming movie theaters into digital entertainment centers. Its deployment entity, state-of-the-art distributor and exhibition software, and marketing and distribution platforms are cornerstones of the digital cinema revolution. The company recently acquired New Video to form a full-service, end-to-end digital studio that acquires content for theatrical distribution and across digital, mobile and home media platforms. New titles poised for release in 2012 include The Invisible War, Citadel, In Our Nature and 22 Bullets.
For more information, please contact:
Luis Garza; 646-259-4144;