CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,
CinemaDave
cinemadave

"Into the Abyss" is balance approached to the death sentence

Initially, an academic approach is what Werner Herzog uses in his straight forward documentary about death row, **Into the Abyss.** Fortunately the audience, the iconic German director brings both humor and humanity to this bleak subject. While interviewing death row inmates, Herzog admits that he is politically against capital punishment. However Herzog presents such a fair and balanced approach, that advocates will find support for their own political bias.

With his soothing grandfatherly voice, Herzog asks some pretty off-the-wall questions. However these questions create an emotional intimacy between the viewer and the interviewee. For example, when a chaplain discusses the final steps of an execution, the man comes ac cross as a dispassionate bureaucrat. Yet when Herzog asks the chaplain about "the squirrel story," the man becomes a blubbering mess.
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