SEEING I S BELIEV­ING

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - Front Page -

IT was one of the most high-pro­file, highly charged court cases in New York le­gal his­tory, later ex­posed as one of the great­est mis­car­riages of jus­tice – with none other than Don­ald Trump play­ing his part to fan the flames of racial bias. Thirty years on, there’s no less ten­sion in this bril­liant drama­ti­sa­tion of the case of the Cen­tral Park Five, wrongly ac­cused and set up by NYPD for the as­sault and rape of a female jog­ger in 1989. Over four ex­traor­di­nary episodes, the true story is re­told, trig­ger­ing all the heart­break and fury the young African Amer­i­can men and their fam­i­lies would have ex­pe­ri­enced as they bat­tled a cor­rupt jus­tice sys­tem. Tak­ing ad­van­tage of the hys­te­ria, Trump paid $85,000 to take out full-page ads calling for the death penalty to be brought back, go­ing on TV to de­clare his “hate” for the boys. De­spite knowing they were even­tu­ally ex­on­er­ated, I found this dev­as­tat­ing to watch and note lit­tle seems to have changed when it comes to the scales of jus­tice in Amer­ica. Di­rec­tor Ava DuVer­nay (pic­tured with Caleel Har­ris) has de­liv­ered yet an­other damn­ing es­say on racial in­equal­ity; while the five young ac­tors de­clare their ex­traor­di­nary tal­ent to the world in this. Oprah Win­frey, who helped pro­duce the drama, also filmed a show with the cast and real Cen­tral Park Five, which acts as both a fas­ci­nat­ing fol­low-up and group ther­apy for a trau­ma­tised au­di­ence.

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