A new documentary written and directed by Academy Award nominated filmmaker Amy Berg (Deliver Us From Evil) and produced by first-time filmmakers Damien Echols and Lorri Davis, in collaboration with the multiple Academy Award-winning team of Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, West of Memphis tells the untold story behind an extraordinary and desperate fight to bring the truth to light — a fight to stop the State of Arkansas from killing an innocent man.
Starting with a searing examination of the police investigation into the 1993 murders of three eight-year-old boys — Christopher Byers, Steven Branch and Michael Moore — in the small town of West Memphis, Arkansas, the film goes on to uncover new evidence surrounding the arrest and conviction of the other three victims of this shocking crime: Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley. All three were teenagers when they became the target of the police investigation; all three went on to lose 18 years of their lives, imprisoned for crimes they did not commit.
How the documentary came to be is in itself a key part of the story of Damien Echols’ fight to save his own life. The film reveals how close he, his wife Lorri Davis, along with his legal team, friends and supporters, came to losing that battle. But as Echols, who spent eighteen years on death row, himself has stated: “… in the face of such horror, in the face of resounding grief and pain, you cannot give up … you must never give up.”