Sky's gripping new true crime documentary has already been hailed as "stunning and enraging"
100% on Rotten Tomatoes. It starts tonight and looks excellent, don't miss it.
While Netflix have arguably established themselves as the main players in the documentary genre, there's an awful lot to be said for HBO's impressive record too.
In recent years, the broadcaster has made the likes of Capturing the Friedmans, The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, Paradise Lost, and The Case Against Adnan Syed.
Now that Sky Crime has launched, the new station will be showing an awful lot of HBO's true crime content and after making a strong start with I Love You, Now Die, their next feature, Who Killed Garrett Phillips?, looks like it's going to be just as compelling.
On 24 October, 2011, 12-year-old Garrett Phillips was murdered at his home in Potsdam, a small town in upstate New York.
Police quickly zeroed in on a suspect for this unthinkable crime: Oral “Nick” Hillary, a black man that was living in a mostly white community. Hillary was a football coach at Clarkson University and the ex-boyfriend of Garrett’s mother, Tandy Cyrus.
Who Killed Garrett Phillips? is a two-part documentary that looks at the case from the initial investigation through the arrest and numerous legal twists and turns that culminated in Hillary’s trial for murder five years after the crime. In doing so, the documentary raises troubling questions of racial bias and issues surrounding policing and the criminal justice system.
The documentary starts with the murder of 12-year-old Garrett Phillips and depicts the subsequent trial of Nick Hillary.
The two-episodes will chronicle the five years following the murder, as Garrett’s grief-stricken family and community relentlessly seek justice, and Hillary desperately fights to prove his innocence.
Two-time Academy Award-nominee and Emmy-winner Liz Garbus is directing the documentary and in terms of its aesthetic approach, Who Killed Garrett Phillips? will feature in-depth interviews with a variety of people linked to the case, as well as extensive police audio and video recordings and courtroom footage.
At present, the documentary has an 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 84% on the more reliable Metacritic. Here's what some of the critics have said:
The Hollywood Reporter - "Documentaries like this can easily become one-sided affairs by virtue of which figures are willing or able to go on the record. Here, Garbus gets solid representation of principals on both sides."
The Washington Post - "The film leaves the question in its title unanswered, as Garbus gives her sources an opportunity to speak (or not) about the choices they made. Ambiguity is not a flaw here; in fact, it's what makes this story so compelling, so infuriating and so sad."
Boston Globe - "Garbus follows these proceedings closely, building suspense and also outrage at the prosecution's crass attempts to manipulate witness testimony, distort facts, and offer spurious evidence."
The Daily Beast - "A stunning-and enraging-examination of race and the U.S. criminal justice system."
Take a look at what's in store.
The first episode of Who Killed Garrett Phillips? starts tonight at 9pm on Sky Crime.
Clip via HBO