American Manhunt: The Boston Marathon Bombing
Genre: Documentary, Crime
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 3 x 50m episodes
Director(s): Floyd Russ
Where To Watch: releases globally on Netflix on April 12, 2023
RAVING REVIEW: Ten years ago, the city of Boston changed forever. This film marks the tenth anniversary of the heart-wrenching Boston Marathon bombing. This three-part series takes viewers on an immersive journey through the events of 2013 and the subsequent high-stakes pursuit that followed. Director Floyd Russ has expertly woven a narrative using re-enactments, interviews, and previously unreleased footage.
This series is not for the faint of heart, especially for anyone who remembers this tragic event. While in the comfort of my home, I remember watching the story unfold on TV. Each moment was as vivid as yesterday, from the original breaking news to when the second terrorist was found. I’ve decided not to share their names, as millions have already shared them. Instead, we’ll remember the hundreds injured and the three who died that day. Krystle Campbell, 29, Arlington, Massachusetts. Martin Richard, 8, Dorchester, Massachusetts. and Lingzi Lu, 23, Liaoning, China. Those are the names that should be remembered.
The series begins with a quote I felt shouldn’t have been included. It’s an argument from those trying to lessen the impact of firearm deaths in America. The series' spotlight shifts to the commitment of public and professional first responders as their heroism and sacrifices take center stage.
One of the series' most powerful elements is the inclusion of interviews with survivors and victims' families. These moving and inspiring accounts provide insight into the physical and emotional challenges those most affected by the tragedy deal with daily, even a decade later. The determination and resilience displayed by these individuals are a testament to the human spirit's endurance.
The show looks at the bigotry and hatred perpetrated by many in America and how it has multiplied since 9/11. Furthermore, the series probes the terrorists' backgrounds, unveiling their motivations for the attack and the events that led to their radicalization—creating a balance between the two that I found interesting.
AMERICAN MANHUNT: THE BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING is a moving and powerful tribute to the tenacity of the human spirit and the sacrifices made by first responders and law enforcement following the attacks. The blend of re-enactments, interviews, and archival footage offers an engaging experience.
The information from the Department of Justice file proved crucial, enabling the creators to develop a comprehensive 101-hour timeline. During a director Q&A, Floyd Russ reflects on his encounters during the 2013 bombing and expresses the shock and bewilderment he experienced. He also discusses the challenges of sifting through extensive archival materials and the intricate logistics of creating the series.
Russ emphasizes the significance of first-person accounts in bringing the story to life. For example, the Watertown shootout was reconstructed using police radio communications and photographs due to limited camera footage.
Ultimately, AMERICAN MANHUNT: THE BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING will resonate with a diverse audience. It delivers an in-depth look at the lives touched by the tragedy while delving into broader themes such as terrorism, sacrifice, and the nature of human resilience.
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[photo courtesy of NETFLIX]