DALLAS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (2014)
Greetings again from the darkness. Definitely one of the best documentaries at this year’s Dallas International Film Festival, this is one detailed and informative expose’ that focuses not just on bad guy Whitey Bulger, but a seemingly corrupt system that allowed him to maintain his power.
Joe Berlinger is an award-winning and very prolific documentarian, and he certainly goes all in here with an overwhelming amount of information, detail and speculation. The film begins with the 2011 arrest of Whitey Bulger after 16 years on the lam. We then explore the trial, as well as the background of Bulger’s 30 years of power in South Boston (after his release from Alcatraz).
The interviews are fascinating. We get first person responses from attorneys, thugs from the Bulger syndicate, as well as many of the victim’s family members … some still so desperate for justice after decades of pain.
The Bulger defense team claimed immunity due to his status as an FBI informant. Of course, this claim opens up the real intrigue here … how deep did the corruption go with local law enforcement, the FBI and the judicial system? Was Bulger empowered by those who should have been protecting the citizens and pursuing him? Many questions are asked, and the likely answers do not quell conspiracy theorists.
While some documentaries seem a bit thin as they stretch material, Mr. Berlinger’s approach is to supply much information, many details, and an endless stream of interviews … all to force us to wonder if Whitey Bulger’s reign of southie crime was permitted, even encouraged, by those we thought were the good guys.
watch the CNN Films promo: