Movie Mondays ~ Monday, August 12, 2019

Movie Mondays ~ Monday, August 12, 2019


When Sunday night arrived, I thought I would be blogging today a more generic blog about how much movies have meant to me over the years since I had not seen one film during the week. And then I remembered there was a new documentary coming to HBO soon about a crime story that I had found riveting about 5 years ago. Before I knew it, I was engrossed in the sordid tale of a suicidal young man and his girlfriend encouraging him to take that final step. But is there more to the story? A good documentary always knows there are two sides to every story. Read on. It may be a brief movie blog week but that doesn’t make it any less intriguing. As always, thanks for reading. ~ Chris K.



FILMS VIEWED WEEK OF 08/05/2019 – 08/11/2019

(click on images to enlarge on the screen!)




89. I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter

Documentary (2019)
Jesse Barron, Emily Bazelon, Sam Boardman


This was a news story that absolutely fascinated me, and the two-part documentary which just debuted on HBO did not disappoint in capturing all the nuances of the case. In fact, I appreciated how well the filmmaker did at representing both sides of the story, so much so that at various times throughout viewing, I found my own feelings about the case shaping and reshaping based on new evidence presented that did not always get shared by the mainstream media. It was far easier to paint a picture of an evil girlfriend bullying her boyfriend into killing himself but as the story unfolds, we realize that it’s a much more complex story than that.



For those living under a rock since 2014, Conrad Roy III is a young man from Mattapoisett, Massachusetts who committed suicide and it was soon learned from his text conversations, that his girlfriend Michelle Carter not only was aware of his actions as he was carrying them out but continued talking with him throughout the process, even encouraging him to get back in his truck as Conrad gets scared or has a change of heart. One aspect of the case that I learned early in the documentary is that they’d only met in person a handful of times (5, I think) — much of their relationship was based on online and phone communications. It did make me wonder was their relationship based on reality or perceived reality since they had not had an opportunity to be woven into each other’s daily routines and live interactions.


I think viewers will be surprised at the twists and turns in the storytelling that reveals much more than most of us who only watched evening news updates will be aware of — a more in-depth look at both Conrad and Michelle’s histories and relationships with family and peers, the sometimes strange and even hurtful dynamics between the two and an obsession with a TV show and actress whose life may have been in some ways paralleled as a strange tribute or demonstration of a skewed reality (another facet of the case that I had heard absolutely nothing about). What makes this documentary so chilling is the filmmaker has access to their text chats and uses them throughout the storytelling to lay out the foundation of that relationship and emotional hold that each had upon the other. There were definitely times as I was watching that I got goosebumps at the realization that I was looking in through an open window to this couple’s strange relationship through their own words. Getting access to such intimate details of the case is enthralling.



Good documentaries make you think, offer up various perspectives and shed light in a way that leaves you thinking about the subject matter long after it’s been viewed. Questions are raised:  ‘How responsible are you for someone else’s actions if you were a voice in their ear or series of texts before them?’  Is it possible that you could be held accountable in some way for someone else’s death because you (a) didn’t stop them from ending their life intentionally and (b) chose to support their wishes to end their life by basically encouraging them to go forward? Are you wielding a weapon with your encouragement or lack of action to stop them?


Fascinating case and great storytelling. Worth your time.



Score: 88











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