Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Un Coupable Ideal - Murder on a Sunday Morning

2001 by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade - French Documentary in English

I dont think I have ever seen so many documentaries in such a short span of time. One brilliant docu is leading me to another and what an excellent watch this one has been.

An elderly tourist is shot dead at a Florida hotel and an unassuming 15 year old black kid is soon arrested by the Police. The documentary follows the kid's defense team and the whole trial in which finally he is found not guilty. 

This movie will be a real shock to many who considers that western democracies and their practices are the best. It, so easily, portrays how the police picked out a black kid, even without any basic investigations and charged him with murder, just because he happened to be a black kid. In fact the trials in the court are a revelation of how American Police can come up against their own people, if those unfortunate guys are black.

In one scene when the kid's mother is questioned in the court, the camera focuses on the kid himself. There isnt any kind of expression on his face, but soon you  can see tears flowing down and there isnt any expression on him still. What a moment it was. I doubt if any actor can recreate that scene.

The real trials in the court room are more than just eye opening or informative for a lay man like me. I wonder how the film makers got permission to shoot the whole trial and into many private areas of discussions in this movie. So at one point, even if the movie brings out the lazy approach of the police, it also brings out the positives of their justice system.

As an Indian, I would never congratulate or complain against the American system. I cannot congratulate them because I am aware about what they have been doing to millions of innocents across the world. At the same time I cannot complain against their racial or police practices as I am very well aware that my own homeland is no better, in fact Indian system - on racial cases or police or judiciary or human rights, is pathetic. We have thousands of innocents in our jails, who might not have even visited a court room yet. So..

And will there ever be a documentary like this on an Indian trial. Impossible, it seems.