Veteran documentarian Ken Burns’ The Central Park Five and Laurent Bouzereau’s Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir are among the documentaries that will screen at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
Directed by Burns, his daughter Sarah Burns and David McMahon, The Central Park Five is about the 1989 Central Park jogger case in which five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem that were wrongly arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park.
In Bouzereau’s Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir, the exiled Chinatown director chats with his friend and producer Andrew Braunsberg about his career, the murder of his wife Sharon Tate, and his 2009 arrest in Switzerland following an American extradition request stemming from a 1977 rape charge.
The film premiered last September at the Zurich Film Festival where Polanski also accepted a lifetime achievement award.
The convictions were vacated based not on a new trial or on new evidence, but solely on the “confession” of Matias Reyes.
Coincidentally, this serial rapist and murderer had nothing to lose by confessing to the rape — and much to gain by claiming that he had acted alone, including a highly desirable prison transfer.
In fact, Reyes’ admission that he had raped the jogger changed nothing about the evidence presented in the actual trials. It was always known that others had participated in the attack on the jogger. It was always known that none of the defendants’ DNA — a primitive science back in 1989 — was found on the jogger.