The Central Park Five Friday, 20 July 2018

The Central Park Five

Additional Info

  • Rating:

    M: Coarse language.

  • The pitch:

    One crime, six innocent victims.

  • Starring:

    Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Korey Wise, Michael Warren, Saul Kassin, Michael Joseph, Ronald Gold, Angela Black, Jim Dwyer, David Dinkins, Calvin O Butts III, Natalie Byfield, Craig Steven Wilder

  • Directed by:

    Ken Burns, David McMahon, Sarah Burns

  • Running time:

    119 minutes

  • Rated:

    M (Australia), NR (UK), NR (USA)


    News reports and testimonial accounts of a brutal beating, rape. People describe attacking a woman, victimising her, striking her repeatedly with a tree branch, removing/handling articles of clothing, sexual assault (rape and sodomy). Racial attacks, rape, lynchings, subway shootings, killings, executions, murder, muggings discussed. Picture of a woman threatened at gunpoint. Reports of police brutality, intimidation. News story of a three-year-old boy shot and killed, news story of a pregnant woman stabbed to death. Graffiti, guns, armed police seen in newspaper reports. Stories of stabbing people, throwing rocks at cars/people, intimidating passers-by, attacking a homeless man (beating, glassing), stealing, throwing a man against a gate, punching/kicking people, grabbing/dragging a woman. Allegations of gang rape. Death penalty, rioting, unlawful assembly mentioned. Photos of lynched men; lynching, cutting off genitals, burning bodies mentioned. Spitting in face mentioned. A woman shouts then shoves a television camera. Blood/gore: Bleeding victim, fractured skull, loss of body fluids, hypothermia, lingering disability, virtually dead victim, stitches, cirrhosis mentioned. AIDS mentioned. Sheeted corpse, taped body outline, corpse in coffin, crime scenes, beaten/deceased victims shown in news reports. Bruising, scratches, bandages. Collapsed woman seen on stretcher.


    Frequent discussion of sexual assault, sodomy, rape. Advertising billboards for adult establishments, clubs. Evidence photographs of nude pictures seen in court drawings.


    Drug-dealing, drug gangsters, crack, drug conviction mentioned. Smoking.


    F-words, slang and actual terms for genitalia and bodily functions. Name-calling. Racial stereotyping. Religious exclamations.


    The Central Park Five, the Central Park jogger, Trish Meili, New York City, corruption, scandal, politics, racism, inter-racial violence, gangs, wrongful accusation, false confession, incarceration, institutionalisation, innocence, evidence, perjury, economic downturn, racism, vacated convictions.


    Courtroom and prison settings. Birds (pigeons), dogs. Sky-high aerial shots over city. Full moon. Estranged, sick, deceased fathers mentioned.


    Well documented, detailed reconstruction of events. Righteous, compelling, fascinating, discomforting, enraging. Smart, fluid storytelling.


    One-sided. Lack of testimony from many people who were involved with the case (including the victim).

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