Making a Murderer: Another Blow to The Confidence in American Society

Posted 2016/01/26 4396 0

Netflix once again created a big hit on American media by showing 10 episodes of a documentary called “Making a Murderer”. 

Have your ever felt the need of watching a documentary? Have you ever doubted about news you read on the newspaper? Have you ever felt very distressed about something that you could ask for the White House’s intervention? If the answer is “not yet”, you should definitely try to watch “Making a Murderer”. 

Debuted in 2015, Netflix’s Making a Murderer counts as a big pop-culture phenomenon in America as well as worldwide. This can be considered as an upgrade of In Cold Blood and The Staircase or Paradise Lost (and if you have never heard about these series, please immediately add it to your watching list). After the first episode, people will feel curious, after the second episode, people will feel distressed and after the third one, people start to strongly express there concerns on social networks.  
The story of Making A Murderer started in September, 2003, when Steve Avery was set free after being wrongfully convicted of sexual assault and attempted murder for 18 years. Being a big man with IQ of under 75 and the past full of petty crimes, Avery lived with his anti-social family and was surrounded by his mean relatives. That surrounding and police misconduct put 18 years of his life in prison. 

Coming back from the prison, Avery wanted to rebuild his life but also wanted to get himself some fairness, he was ready to sue authorities in Manitowoc county, but he was arrested again, this time for the murder of a local photographer with all evidences pointing his direction. 

Over a decade of filming – during which Avery was tried and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole – the show’s directors, Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, ended up moving to Wisconsin for 2 years to be closer to the story as it unfolded. They were at the Avery’s hearing in 2007 and followed it till the end, before adding more details to make it a 10 episode TV seris. However, Making A Murderer faced a quite rejection when it came to publicity due to its highly sensitive content. Finally, Netflix gave a green light to the documentary and soon realized that is one of their wisest decisions.

Directors Laura Ricciardi (left) and Moira Demos (right) with Iris Ng

                         Directors Laura Ricciardi (left) and Moira Demos (right) with Iris Ng

The series focuses on Steve Avery, but what people truly concern is not Steve Avery but the fallibility and corrupted power structure and the determination of who did not bear the silence. That is also the message that the makers want to convey through the story of Steve Avery. There are many wrongfully convicted victims out there, Steve Avery is just one of them, and he is a representative to reveal the real story of American Justices.  

Making A Murderer is a kind of series that can draw a lot of controversy even when it was just an idea. Finishing 10 episodes, the question of guilt – that is, the one on which the trial, the futures of the Avery families and an entire history of crime fiction rests – has almost entirely lost its force. Making a Murderer gives the whodunit (who did it) a postmodern shakeup and turns the question of Avery’s guilt on its head. In other words, the means become every bit as crucial as the end – and the means are screwed. This is why, for many, the most deep-rooted and devastating response to Making a Murderer is a loss of faith in the system.