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06th Jul 2017

Netflix’s new series will look at one of the most controversial court cases in US history

Paul Moore

This is going to be excellent.

Every so often, certain filmmakers are given the rather abstract tag of ‘voice of their generation’ or ‘rising star’. In the case of Ava DuVernay, we reckon that she cares very little for labels like this, but it’s perfectly apt given the immaculate body of work that she has produced already.

If you haven’t seen 13th on Netflix then we urge you to do so because it’s one of the most powerful and poignant pieces of work that they’ve commissioned.

The Oscar-nominated filmmaker will now turn her attention to a case that’s still regarded as one of the most controversial and divisive “breakdowns of our (US ) criminal justice system.”

It’s likely that you heard about the infamous 1989 Central Park jogger case, commonly referred to as the ‘Central Park Five’, where five minority male suspects were falsely accused, charged and convicted of the rape and assault of Trisha Meili.

In fact, Netflix even had a very good documentary on that very case in their library.

We’re happy to report that DuVernay will produce, write, and direct a new limited series for Netflix about this very case.

The series will consist of five episodes with each episode focusing on one of the Central Park Five members — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise.

“I had an extraordinary experience working with Netflix on 13th and am overjoyed to continue this exploration of the criminal justice system as a narrative project with Cindy Holland and the team there,” DuVernay said in a statement. “The story of the men known as Central Park Five has riveted me for more than two decades. In their journey, we witness five innocent young men of color who were met with injustice at every turn — from coerced confessions to unjust incarceration to public calls for their execution by the man who would go on to be the President of the United States,” she said.

The series will span from 1989, when Meili was assaulted and raped and the five were arrested, to 2014, when they were finally exonerated and reached a settlement with New York.

This could be very, very special.