directed by Werner Herzog (2011)
Into the Abyss takes an unsentimental (is Herzog ever any other way?) look at a particularly senseless murder and subsequent death sentence.
In most hands the subject and people could be treated with pointed, tear jerking emotions, but with Herzog’s frank discussions (at one point he tells a murderer he has no intention of liking him) the people involve are allowed to be more dimensional.
He asks questions and focuses on details other film makers would ignore.
The result is more than a knee jerk reaction to crime, poverty and the death penalty. It provokes you to actually think about it.
Herzog is an incredible documentarian who usually takes on nature more than human drama. In a way, this is a quieter film from him that lacks the interesting scenery of his more familiar works but it’s certainly not one to be missed.
It’s available on Netflix instant and beats an Investigative Reports any day.