"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

"live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"
- Henry David Thoreau, 1845

"Some guys, they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up,
And go racin' in the streets."
- Bruce Springsteen, 1977

"...to the heart, there's no time for you to waste.
You won't find your precious answers now
by staying in one place."
- Frank Turner, 2009

"The best things in life aren't things.
They're living and breathing."
- Michael Franti , 2011

"I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places, the things that I did"
- Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, 2014

All written content and photos by Rob Fulfer unless otherwise indicated.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Looking Again at The West Memphis Three

Thursday, January 26, 2011: 

We attended the SOLD OUT screening of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival entry, West of Memphis, tonight at The Belcourt Theatre in Nashville with our friend, Brenda.  The documentary takes another look at the case of the West Memphis Three,who as teenagers were wrongly accused (proven now thanks to new DNA evidence) of killing 3 eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, back in 1993.  The case, the trial and the seeming injustice that imprisoned these three young men for 18 years has gained worldwide scrutiny thanks to a trilogy of HBO documentaries entitled, Paradise Lost.  Thanks to a tireless effort from a grass-roots organization formed to help free the West Memphis Three that included well-known and powerful supporters such as film director, Peter Jackson; Pearl Jam lead singer, Eddie Vedder; actor, Johnny Depp; and Dixie Chicks lead singer, Natalie Maines, the three were recently freed on a deal with the state of Arkansas using the little-known, little-used and very strange Alford Plea, in which you profess your innocence yet still plead guilty to the crime but are released on probation with time served and the agreement to not sue the state for wrongful imprisonment.

This was our second time attending a Sundance Film Festival screening at The Belcourt.  The famous festival now expands to audiences across the country for one special night of film and dialogue in eight different cities.  We feel fortunate that Nashville has been chosen as one of those outlets. 

We arrived early and got great seats right in front of the reserved spaces for  West Memphis Three member and former death-row inmate, Damien Echols and his wife, Lorrie Davis, who were also producers on the film.

The Sundance Film Festival theme "Look Again" took on a whole other  meaning in terms of West of Memphis, which is asking the state of Arkansas to "look again" at the case of the West Memphis Three as they push for full exoneration and the pursuit of the real killer(s).  Pictured above during the post-film showing Q & A are West Memphis Three member, Jason Baldwin (second from left), film director Amy Berg (third from left), West Memphis Three member and film producer, Damien Echols (fourth from left).
It was an interesting and thought-provoking evening at The Belcourt.  We all grabbed a quick, but tasty, dinner at Taps & Tapas just across the street beforehand.  A news crew from Memphis was on hand as well.

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