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MR. DEATH: THE RISE AND FALL OF FRED A. LEUCHTER, JR.

USA, 1999 (MIFF 2000, Documentaries)

Director: Errol Morris

"I sleep very well at night, knowing that those persons that are executed with my equipment have a better chance of a painless, more humane and dignified execution."—Fred A. Leuchter Jr

Errol Morris has an unerring eye for tracking down oddballs, people whose peculiar interests illuminate areas of the human condition, some would say, better left in the dark. Others find in his documentaries the allure and fascination of humanity in all its wonder and bafflement. Nowhere is this more true than in the strange case of Fred A. Leuchter Jr: 'Execution Technologist'. This geeky, bespectacled man in ill-fitting suits is a Morris original employed by the US Penal System as an expert in gallows, gas chambers, electric chairs and lethal injections. Macabre enough, Leuchter's story gets even more chilling when he is engaged by notorious Canadian revisionist Ernst Zundel, a man who has spent years gathering evidence that the Holocaust was a hoax. Leuchter finds himself in Auchwitz—on his honeymoon!—gathering samples for forensic analysis and testifying that the Nazis killed no one! Morris, himself Jewish, allows Leuchter to present his pseudo-scientific babble on camera in order to hang himself (pardon the irresistible pun). A compelling film that shows director Morris to still be a world leader in documentary filmmaking.

See also...

GUERILLA: THE TAKING OF PATTY HEARST

USA, 2004
Guerilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst USA ,/i>'Death to the Fascist insect that preys on the life of the people!' With that incendiary battle cry, the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) declared war on … More »

GLASS: A PORTRAIT OF PHILIP IN TWELVE PARTS

Australia, 2008
“I've been called a minimalist composer for more than 30 years, and while I've never really agreed with the description, I've gotten used to it.” - Philip Glass ... In the year of his 70th birthd… More »

VERNON, FLORIDA

USA, 1981
Vernon, Florida is a film about some of the ordinary (which is to say extraordinary) people of a small town in Washington County, Florida. There is a man obsessed with shooting wild turkeys who takes… More »

THE THIN BLUE LINE

USA, 1988
... ... The Thin Blue Line is both the recreation of the brutal murder of a Dallas policeman in 1976, and a passionate argument for the case of a man wrongly accused of the murder. While making an un… More »

Hawking

UK, 1989
The Media Show goes on location with the making of the film version of A Brief History Of Time, Stephen Hawking's best-seller about the origins of the universe. Directed by Errol Morris (Thin Blue Li… More »

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