My first significant activity after returning to Santa Barbara yesterday was a second viewing of Amy Berg‘s West of Memphis, a tightly compelling and superbly woven doc about the nearly-20-year saga of the West Memphis 3. (My first was in Park City a week and a half ago.) It played at the Lobero theatre, and was followed by a q & a with Berg and John Byers, stepfather of one of the three murder victims.
West of Memphis participant John Byers, director Amy Berg during last night’s post-screening q & a at Santa Barbara’s Lobero theatre.
Byers sparked a Twitter kerfuffle last night when he slammed Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky‘s three documentaries about the West Memphis 3 case (Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, Paradise Lost 2: Revelations and Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory), obviously because he resents the dredging up of circumstantial evidence in the mid ’90s that indicated to police that he was a suspect in the deaths of the three boys. He said last night that the docs were compromised because several portions were “staged.”