Watch The Chilling Teaser For The New Netflix True Crime Hit From Ava DuVernay And Oprah
Get ready for another frustrating story of justice gone wrong.
In 1989, four young African-American men and one young Hispanic man — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise — were accused of raping and assaulting a young woman wandering through Central Park.
The case attracted instant media attention. DNA kits couldn’t match any of the men to the crime, and although they gave confessions, they later claimed that these had been coerced from them via force from a corrupt and racist New York police department.
Like the OJ Simpson trial that would come some five years later, the case against the Central Park Five became a massive, international media sensation. A real estate mogul named Donald Trump even weighed in, taking out a full page advert in a local paper calling for the five to be executed.
This is the full-page advertisement Donald Trump took out calling for the execution of the Central Park Five.
They were later exonerated by DNA evidence, although President Trump maintains that they are guilty. pic.twitter.com/vspZemnW93
— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) February 10, 2018
Now, acclaimed director Ava DuVernay, the filmmaker behind the young adult fantasy A Wrinkle In Time and shocking documentary 13th has directed a four-part film about the five young men. It’s called When They See Us, and it’s hitting Netflix later this year.
Versions of When They See Us have been in development for years — since at least 2017, DuVernay has been looking to bring her vision of the story to life.
The story has already been told on screen once, by famed documentarian Ken Burns in the non-fiction film The Central Park Five.
But, as opposed to Burns, DuVernay is fictionalising the story. And, more than that, DuVernay is seeking to understanding the entire lives of the five young men at the heart of the case, rather than just the trial that came to define them — she’s starting with their childhoods, moving through adulthood, and then examining the fall-out of their time in jail, and how it would come to affect the people that they are today.
Basically, it sounds utterly enthralling.
When They See Us is hitting Netflix on May 31.