We recently watched Gone Girl (yes I know, quite a bit later than everyone else!). It’s not a genre I usually watch (or read) but having recorded it some time ago when it was on Sky Movies and deciding what to keep or delete, we settled down to watch it.
For those of you who don’t know (I’m guessing everyone does …), Gone Girl is based on the book by Gillian Flynn:
Who are you?
What have we done to each other?
These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy’s friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn’t true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren’t made by him. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife?
Apart from prompting discussion in our home on the divisive ending, the last few days I’ve been thinking about those people who have been wrongfully convicted by the judicial system (currently 31 US states have the death penalty). I stumbled across this infographic of a history of US citizens wrongly convicted.
Michael Morton’s story on the above link reminded me of the plot.
Michael Morton spent 25 years in jail after being wrongly convicted of his wife’s murder. Michael had left for work early in the morning, and later that day his wife’s body was found bludgeoned to death in her bed with sheets which were stained with what was later determined to be semen.
The prosecution presented no witnesses or physical evidence that tied Michael to the crime, but they hypothesized that he had beaten Christine to death because she refused to have sex with him on his birthday. Michael was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
In 2005, the Innocence Project filed a motion requesting additional DNA testing on items of evidence. However, it wasn’t until 2011 that testing was granted on a bandanna, which revealed DNA belonging to Mark Norwood, a convicted felon and the murderer.
A quarter of a century! How do you pick up your life after that? You must be so institutionalised and have support to reintegrate back into civvy life. How do you deal with the bitterness? the frustration? Even when you have someone fighting and believing in you like Darryl Howard did for over 20 years, it can’t be easy to then live your life.
The Innocence Project has a mission to free the people who have been wrongfully convicted and to bring reform.
As the pace of DNA exonerations has grown across the country in recent years, wrongful convictions have revealed disturbing fissures and trends in our criminal justice system.
With people speaking up about well known and public figures in the media and projects like this, are we moving towards a more enlightened state?
So many thoughts and questions! Most of the time I want to watch a movie for it’s entertainment factor. For pure escapism. Sometimes there’s more of an impact than you thought possible when you snuggle up and press that play button 🙂
Is there a book or movie that’s made you think more deeply about something?
I’d love to know!