Errol Morris's "The Thin Blue Line" was unlike anything else screened at film fest HQ this week.
The documentary feature detailed the farcical trial of Randall Dale Adams--who was so clearly wrongly accused of murdering a police officer in in 1976. Using interviews with Adams, the defense team, super-creepy and obvious murderer David Ray Harris, Morris lays out the case for Adams's innocence. But he doesn't do it in the Michael Moore style of, "can you believe this??? I can't believe this??? Can you???" He lets the characters speak for themselves, and uses moody and cinematic re-enactments to show how the murder might have occurred and how the witnesses may have been more than a little unreliable.
Above all, we at film fest HQ were astounded by the film's fascinatingly structured escalation, as the details of the case came more clearly into focus with each interview--even when the interviews didn't describe events in the same way.
"The Thin Blue Line" is about a justice system determined to close the case by the most expedient means necessary, and if an innocent man had to pay the price, then it was for the greater good of the justice system. To keep those monster truck wheels of justice rolling.
This was the first real, substantial film screened at The First Annual GeniusboyFiremelon Bi-Coastal 24-Hour (Non-Consecutive) Film Festival, and it may yet win the coveted Blazing Melonball Award for Best in Show.
Richard Oldstate adds, "this was not the delightful Rowan Atkinson romp I expected.
Three and one-eighth stars.