Famed documentarian Ken Burns’ newest film, The Central Park Five, will debut in theatres on Nov. 23. It’s the story of the “Central Park Jogger” case, the result of a heinous crime in 1989 when jogger Trisha Meili was beaten and raped while running in this famous New York City landmark.
In the trailer above, one man expresses the significance of the incident.
“Central Park was holy–it was the crime of the century,” he said.
Five young black men between 14 and 15 years of age were arrested and confessed. However they later retracted their statements, saying the confession had been coerced from them by police. Nonetheless, they were found guilty in 1990.
This might have been the end of the story, but in 2002, an imprisoned serial rapist named Matias Reyes said he had been the attacker. One year later, in 2003, each of the five original defendents filed a $50 million against New York City.
The new film examines issues of race, the intense pressure to solve the crime quickly and how the boys were ultimately falsely convicted. It’s a long and complex story that is still not over. According to the New York Times, lawyers for New York City subpoenaed notes and outtakes from Burns’ film to try to defend against the lawsuits filed by the five men.
Burns has done several other notable films including The National Parks: America's Best Idea, Prohibition and The Dust Bowl.
Trisha Meili, the Central Park Jogger, is now a motivational speaker who “she reaches out to people struggling through recovery,” according to her website.