Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Into the Abyss

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material and some disturbing images
Profanity:Mild language
Nudity/Sex:References to logistics of pregnancy when one partner is in prison
Alcohol/Drugs:References to drugs and alcohol
Violence/Scariness:The movie concerns the violent murder of three people and the aftermath, many references to violence
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:November 16, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material and some disturbing images
Profanity: Mild language
Nudity/Sex: References to logistics of pregnancy when one partner is in prison
Alcohol/Drugs: References to drugs and alcohol
Violence/Scariness: The movie concerns the violent murder of three people and the aftermath, many references to violence
Diversity Issues: None
Movie Release Date: November 16, 2011

Werner Herzog continues his exploration of the darkness and the light within the human spirit with “Into the Abyss,” a documentary about why and how we kill each other, in violation of the law and directed by it.

YouTube Preview Image

In Texas, where as many as two prisoners are executed each week, Herzog speaks to the people connected to one crime, the senseless murder of three people by a couple of teenagers, who were just trying to steal a hot car.  Herzog remains off-camera as he interviews the men, now in their 20’s, who are in prison, one just days from his scheduled execution, the woman whose mother and brother were two of the victims, the chaplain and the correctional officer who are the last people the condemned prisoner sees, the police officer who investigated the crime, and others who help to tell the bleak story of loss and limits.

Advertisement

Herzog lets each of them tell us not just what they think but who they are.  He lets us discover for ourselves the telling details like the sign that says “Dream” over the fireplace in the living room of the corrections officer as he tells us that after over 100 executions he just could not do it any more and the tree growing through the floorboards of the car once deemed worth three lives, now rotting in the police impound lot.  We meet the father of one of the two prisoners whose only gift to his son was pleading with the jury not to sentence him to death.  A woman describes falling in love with one of the men in prison and marrying him there.  Both have surprises that confound our expectations.  Many of the interviews present a bleak portrait of limited vistas and opportunities alongside limitless need for love.

Advertisement

Indeed, no matter what views you bring to this film, you will come away enlarged, moved, changed as much from the compassion and generosity of Herzog himself as from the people he interviews. Herzog, who had just an hour with each of his subjects and shows us his first and only conversations with them, has made a film that expands his consideration of the human struggle for connection and meaning.

Parents should know that this is a documentary about the death penalty and the crimes of those sentenced to it.  It includes some crime scene images of murder victims and references to substance abuse and bad behavior.

Family discussion: Does this movie change your views on the death penalty?  What questions would you ask Michael Perry or Melyssa Burkett?  What made Captain Allen change his mind?

If you like this, try: “Dead Man Walking,” “At the Death House Door” and “Robert Blecker Wants Me Dead”

 

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment jasonsgirl

    Thanks for writting this tasteful and articulate article. Although many people have got a glimpse of my life and the choices I have made I want to say very publicly I believe my son was created with as much love as any child. I am so proud to be Jason’s wife and even more proud to be a mommy.

    • Nell Minow

      Thank you very much, Melyssa, and my best wishes to your and your baby.

Previous Posts

Sesame Street's Maria Says Goodbye
Sonia Manzano has announced that she is leaving Sesame Street after 44 years.  She was 22 years old when she auditioned for the brand new series that would revolutionize children's programming. She became Maria, one of the first Latina ...

posted 1:20:21pm Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Happy 99th Birthday, Olivia de Havilland!
Two-time Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland turns 99 years old today. She was one of the biggest stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, appearing memorably opposite Errol Flynn eight times, most memorably in "The Adventures of Robin ...

posted 10:20:13am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Contest: Win a DVD of "Hope Bridge"
"Hope Bridge" is a new DVD from Pure Flix about the devastating impact of suicide. Christi and David Eaton produced the movie after having experienced suicide twice in their family. They knew the best way to reach out to others was through a ...

posted 8:00:59am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: No Ordinary Hero -- The SuperDeafy Movie
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6Yo3kRFW9g Coming next month on DVD, "No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie" is the story of a deaf actor (John Maucere) who plays a deaf superhero in a campy television series. But he wants to be a real ...

posted 8:00:41am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip: Underdog Kids
[jwvideo vid='AKNUHyky' pid='GvkPWNBE'] Underdog Kids is family film about a karate team of misfits, available on VOD and DVD July 7, 2015. Adam Irigoyen (Disney’s “Shake It Up!” and “Wizards of Waverly Place”), Ryan Potter (Big ...

posted 8:00:26am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.