Always fascinated by true-crime documentaries, I was not surprised to see Making a Murderer pop up on my Netflix list of suggested films even though I’d never heard anything about it. What I was surprised by was how truly engaging and provocative the feature is. It suggests that a lot of the true crimes being committed in our justice system are being perpetrated by the wrong side of the law … the ones who’re supposed to be upholding the law and enforcing justice are the real culprits.
At first, I thought it was going to be your standard two-hour documentary. After only one hour of watching, I was a bundle of nerves — so invested in the plight of the subject, Steven Avery, and so upset by where the filmmakers were obviously going with his story, that I had to Google the show to make sure that it was real.
By no means was I going to subject myself to seriously upset stomach over a “mockumentary” or a cleverly crafted piece of fiction.
If it was theater, I could sigh in relief and then continue the show, which I’d by then realized consisted of 10 full episodes, at my leisure. Of course, I wondered how on earth the film-makers were going to drag this tragedy out for s0oo long. As a long-time armchair detective, I’m used to Bill Curtis neatly wrapping things up in an hour. Then it dawned on me that there was no audible narration, how the hell could it be so captivating? Because filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi are the masters of this uncharted territory. Because it was a real life hanging in the balance. I put on my robe, settled in for the long haul, and finished the series the same day.
I’ve since done further research into the subject, reading for hours differing accounts and criticisms and accolades. I won’t post any spoilers here, but I do want to implore you to watch it.
If this sort of shady crazy in the justice system can happen to Avery/Dassey, it can happen to anyone.