Werner Herzog is a veteran documentarian, but for the most part, his films have either been explorations of nature or chronicles of oddball tales and people (sometimes all three), and usually imbued with his own fabrications/ecstatic truth (see the albino alligator at the end of “The Cave of Forgotten Dreams“). However, his next effort, the prison documentary “Into The Abyss,” looks like it will find the filmmaker at his most straight-faced and sober in years.
TIFF has unveiled three clips from the film and they are powerful, compelling peeks at the upcoming film. The documentary will delve into the lives of a pretty hardened bunch, focusing on two men convicted of triple murder, another who killed his girlfriend and her two mentally retarded sons, and a woman—one of only 10 on Texas’ death row—charged with abducting a newborn baby and killing the child’s mother. But it’s not just the perpetrators of the crimes getting face time with Herzog as he also reaches out to their families as well as the victims in what promises to be a unique and mesmerizing portrait of the ripple effects of crime and punishment.
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Werner Herzog (“Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” “Grizzly Man”) explores the legacy of a triple homicide in Texas interviewing the victims’ families and those convicted for the crime including one man on death row, eight days before his execution.