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An American Tragedy

USA 2018
produced by
Lisa Rhoden Boyd, David Boyd (executive) for MountainTop Films
directed by Lisa Rhoden Boyd
starring Jim Hall, Kelli Hall, Sue King, Stephen Hall, Tim Parres, Jeffrey Ferguson, Jennifer Ferguson, Troy Steele, Pat McCarrick, Andy Daus, Melvin Skein
written by Lisa Rhoden Boyd, music by Tony Humecke, Zachary Galanis, Bridget Galanis

documentary

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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In a wintery night in 1989, gas station attendant Kelli Hall was abducted from her workplace just minutes before her shift would have ended, for her strangled body to be found 13 days later, hidden behind an abandoned barn. Her body shows evidence of rape, and her kidnapper, rapist and killer is rather quickly found, one Jeffrey Ferguson, a notorious drug user with not much of a criminal record, but not well liked in his neighbourhood. He's convicted to death in 1992 (and again in 1996 due to a technicality in the first trial), but isn't executed until 26 years later.

Now those are the hard facts, all of which are laid out to some detail in the movie, but it's not what the film's really about, rather it's about Jeffrey Ferguson's growth into a force of good in prison, even if there was never a chance for him to get out, and also of Kelli's father Jim Hall struggling to come to terms with his daughter's death, and at the execution of Ferguson coming to the realisation that the man's death does nothing to end the pain - and as a result he befriends Ferguson's daughter Jennifer and becomes an activist against the death penalty ...

 

A documentary with a rather unique perspective, as while it starts out as a typical true crime film with plenty of vintage news footage, talking heads and the like, it soon moves into a different direction, showing how the aftermath of the crime has changed both the killer and the victim's father - and the film does so in a refreshingly unexcited way, giving its interviewees - mostly Jim Hall and Jeffrey and Jennifer Ferguson - their room to breathe and telling their story their way. And the outcome is a rather intimate piece that's almost sure to move its audience.

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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screenwriter and film reviewer
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD