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Into the Abyss (2011)Into the Abyss (2011)

           In 2001 Michael Perry and Jason Burkett of Conroe, Texas, murdered three people for a red Camaro. In his new documentary, director Werner Herzog interviews all the players involved, so we experience the tragedy from every perspective — Perry, who was executed eight days after his interviews with Herzog, and Burkett, who's eligible for parole in 2041, then also a police lieutenant who investigated the crime, the prison chaplain who's present at the executions, the prison official who across his career strapped 125 prisoners to the gurney and then removed their bodies after they died (and quit because of the psychological toll it took on him), a sister of the victims, Perry's brother, Burkett's father (who's also in prison), a friend of Perry, and his wife (who married him after he was incarcerated). Herzog admits that he opposes the death penalty, but as with all his films, he's more interested in the interior human psyche than the external factors of the plot. It's easy enough to connect the dots of broken people in a broken system who are all a mysterious mixture of good and evil.

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