"The Central Park Five" was directed by acclaimed documentarian Ken Burns, his daughter Sarah Burns and her husband David McMahon.
According to its official synopsis, "The Central Park Five," "tells the story of the five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park in 1989. The film chronicles The Central Park Jogger case, for the first time from the perspective of these five teenagers whose lives were upended by this miscarriage of justice." PBS is currently streaming the documentary, and it can be viewed below.
On Rotten Tomatoes, "Central Park Five" is rated Fresh, with 94 percent of reviews being positive. The documentary is based on Burns' book "The Central Park Five: The Untold Story Behind One of New York City's Most Infamous Crimes."
In 1989, 28-year-old Trisha Meilli (who revealed her identity years later) was jogging in New York's Central Park when she was severely beaten and raped. Due to the severity of the attack, she was unable to identify her attackers. Police later arrested five teenagers who were in Central Park that night, and after hours of interrogation, the boys confessed to the crime. The case drew enormous media attention at a time of rampant crime and racial tension in the city.
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The five individuals would spend more than a decade in jail before Matias Reyes, a convicted murderer and rapist, confessed to the crime and DNA evidence definitively proved he was the only person involved in the attack. "The Central Park Five" explores the media attention surrounding the attack as well as an exploration of the racial tension caused by the arrest and conviction of the teenagers and includes interviews with each of the five man wrongfully convicted of the crime.
Watch "The Central Park Five," courtesy of PBS, below.