The psychiatrist Dorothy Otnow Lewis dedicated her career to the study of murderers in search of answers to the question why we kill.
The psychiatrist Dorothy Otnow Lewis dedicated her career to the study of murderers in search of answers to the question why we kill. Crazy Not Insane, directed and produced by Oscar winner Alex Gibney, premieres Tuesday, November 24. This documentary instigator explores, as if it were the story of a science detective, Dr. Lewis' efforts throughout her life to see the murders beyond the gruesome details, looking into the hearts and minds of the murderers. The documentary will be available on HBO and HBO GO.
Shown in the official selection of the 2020 Venice International Film Festival, the documentary features Dr. Lewis and her research, which includes interviews recorded on death row and examines the formative experiences and neurological dysfunctions of famous killers like Arthur Shawcross and Ted Bundy, challenging the notion of evil and the idea that killers shouldn't have been born.
Renowned psychiatrist and writer Dorothy Lewis began her career working with children, including young violent offenders. This contact with testimonies of physical and sexual abuse in childhood led her to investigate how childhood trauma – generally associated with some neurological damage – can sow the seeds of murderous impulses in adults.
Her discoveries made her a specialist in Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder), as she observed firsthand how murderers alternated their personalities – or their 'alters' as she calls them – during the period in that she was examining them. Although Dr. Lewis's conclusions have been many times rejected by colleagues, such as the well-known forensic psychiatrist Park Dietz, her death row interview footage shows significant transformations of "alters" developed in childhood, often as a way to bear and even avenge the pain suffered.
Among the best known cases presented by Dr. Lewis is that of Arthur Shawcross, convicted in 1991 for the murder of 11 women. While recordings of Lewis' talks with Shawcross show him with the "alters" of his vengeful mother and a thirteenth-century cannibal, at trial he was found sane and guilty. Lewis was also one of the last people to interview Ted Bundy, shortly before his execution. On an audiotape included in the documentary, Bundy was exceptionally candid with the psychiatrist, revealing new details contrary to what was known about him. One of the things Lewis regrets is never being able to examine Bundy's brain for clues about what led him to be one of the most famous serial killers in the world.
Crazy Not Insane is a style innovation from Gibney, who uses an eclectic combination of cinema verité, video recordings of psychiatric evaluations, hand-crafted animations, and home footage with the goal of exploring the complexities of the human mind. Texts by Dr. Lewis are read by actress Laura Dern (HBO's "Big Little Lies" and "The Tale") to provide more information about her career and the cases that followed. With images of the psychiatrist scribbling in notebooks in her messy room, transformed into a workshop for drawing classes in human forms, Gibney's portrait of Lewis aims to show a woman of boundless curiosity willing to explore areas that others are not willing to to know.
In addition to Shawcross and Bundy, among other famous killers convicted and prisoners on death row, evaluated by Dr. Lewis, are Mark David Chapman, David Wilson, Marie Moore, and Joseph Paul Franklin. The documentary also includes a video of Dr. Lewis' interview with "traveling executor" Sam Jones, an electrician who carried out hundreds of death sentences. While claiming to have remorselessly shocked convicted murderers in the electric chair, Jones displays a series of disturbing paintings he made after each execution, revealing his inner disturbance.
The title Crazy Not Insane is a colloquial reference to the conflict that the judicial system – an area where certain requests for justice can be transformed into wishes for revenge – has with the world of medical science regarding the definition of serious mental illness. For many years, Dorothy Lewis testified in death penalty cases about whether convicted murderers had sufficient sanity to be convicted. His forensic insights and discoveries helped change laws and the way attorneys handled death row cases.
The documentary also addresses the death penalty itself, highlighting research that notes that states where there is a death penalty tend to have a higher murder rate than others, challenging the theory that the death penalty discourages violence. . The production raises an important question: if dangerous killers are stopped and people are protected, why is society so determined to execute those human beings?
HBO Documentary Films presents Crazy Not Insane, a Jigsaw Production directed by Alex Gibney, who is also a producer, Ophelia Harutyunyan, Erin Edeiken and Joey Marra; executive production of Stacey Offman, Richard Perello and Maiken Baird; Executive Producers for HBO: Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller.
Crazy Not Insane opens a collection of five riveting crime documentaries to open Tuesdays, beginning November 24. Each one goes beyond the tabloid headlines, explores the human component in all aspects of a crime, and investigates in depth the inner world and the outer world of criminals, victims and survivors.
These are the titles that make up the anthology:
The Mystery of DB Cooper
Directed by John Dower, it addresses the only unclear plane hijacking in United States history, which continues to motivate speculation about the identity of the hijackers, nearly 50 years later. This investigative documentary explores the various theories surrounding the case, presenting the stories of four people whose families and friends believe may have been that "DB Cooper," the man who hijacked Flight 727, jumped from the plane in Washington state using a parachute, taking $ 200,000 and who was never heard of again.
Directed by Hannah Olson, executive produced by Oscar® nominees Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, it is a shocking investigation into Las Vegas fertility specialist Dr. Quincy Fortier who helped hundreds of couples fight for conception. . Decades later, many children born through his procedures discovered from DNA and genealogy sites that Dr. Fortier had used his own sperm to get their mothers pregnant, without their knowledge or consent, prompting a disturbing recognition in what it refers to genetic inheritance, the meaning of family, and the dilemma of revealing painful secrets. The documentary was selected for SXSW 2020.
Produced and directed by Theo Love, produced by Bryan Storkel and scripted by Theo Love and Bryan Storkel, explores the story of Glenn Summerford, a Pentecostal minister accused of attempting to kill his own wife with a rattlesnake in the quiet town of Scottsboro , Alabama. The details of the investigation and trial of the case terrified the family and the community for decades. The documentary features Appalachian mountain historian and folklorist Dr. Thomas Burton, who dedicated his life to studying the culture, beliefs, and folklore of Pentecostal snake handlers, composing a Southern Gothic portrait of Glenn Summerford and his history. of demonic possession.
The Art of Political Murder
It is directed by Paul Taylor, produced by Teddy Leifer and Regina K. Scully, executive produced by Oscar winners George Clooney and Grant Heslov, and is based on the award-winning book of the same name by Francisco Goldman. The documentary tells the story of the 1998 murder of Guatemalan human rights activist Bishop Juan Gerardi, which shocked a country devastated by decades of political violence. The production highlights the team of young investigators who are in charge of the case and who, searching for the truth, begin to reveal a network of conspiracy and corruption that involves the highest levels of government.
It may interest you:
8 documentaries about serial killers that will leave you paranoid
The 8 most famous serial killers in the world that will teach you how the psycho mind works
. (tagsToTranslate) crazy not insane (t) documentaries (t) HBO documentaries (t) HBO (t) serial killer documentaries (t) serial killers