Brother’s Keeper

A potent and highly engrossing 1992 documentary by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky about a 1990 murder trial in New York State that attracted national media attention. The case involved the death of one of the Ward brothers, four illiterate, reclusive, and eccentric bachelors who lived together on their dairy farm in a two-room shack with no running water. One of the siblings confessed to suffocating his ailing brother as a mercy killing but later retracted his statement, implying that he was being framed. It’s amazing how many primal issues are engaged in this real-life mystery story, and Berlinger and Sinofsky, who followed it from start to finish, do a superb job of keeping us on the edge of our seats. (JR)

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