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Sarah Bunting: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory and the Mixing of Blessings

Sarah Bunting: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory and the Mixing of Blessings

By Sarah D. Bunting
Press Play Contributor

Joe R and I walked into Alice Tully Hall last night and I spotted him right away, on a balcony entrance above us: Damien Echols, surveying the scene. Right there, in a sharp black shirt and blue Bono shades — just right there! I gave Joe the “fame ahoy” arm-whap and pointed up. Then I stopped in the middle of the swirl of ticket-holders and looked at Damien like you look at a rainbow. I wanted to take a picture, but I knew I wouldn’t need one. Damien, rocking civilian hair product and the tattoo he just got, a real one, not sausage grease and ballpoint ink. Just…right there. Unbelievable.

The movie itself is about what you expect, if you’ve seen either of the other Paradise Lost films or followed the case, and as such, it’s almost beside the point. I would almost rather have seen the version the filmmakers had nearly in the can before the Alford plea — the ending to the story that WM3 supporters had feared, the end of the line — to see what got changed, and how they shaped a narrative that, essentially, still hadn’t changed at that point. And then I would like to see, in two years’ time, PL 4: Mixed Blessings, and see their lives, their workaday average lives, lizard-brain driving around on errands, dealing with customer-service phone menus and pesty housepets, their bafflement at the whole Twilight thing, just right here alongside the rest of us. The moment when “Anyone else want another beer?” happens without thinking.

You can read the rest of Sarah’s piece here at her blog tomatonation.

Sarah D. Bunting co-founded Television Without, and has written for Seventeen, New York Magazine,, Salon, Yahoo!, and others. She’s the chief cook and bottle-washer at

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