The latest documentary about the fate of the case of the West Memphis 3, "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory," isn't scheduled to be broadcast on HBO until early next year, but fans of the series in Los Angeles might want to make the trek to Laemmle's Fallbrook 7 in West Hills where the film opens Friday for one week only.
The limited run is designed specifically to give the film the opportunity to qualify for an Oscar nomination.
Filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky first brought attention to the plight of Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley Jr. -- teenagers who were convicted of the gruesome 1993 murders of three 8-year-old boys in West Memphis, Ark. -- with the 1996 documentary "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills." Though the filmmakers initially intended to make a film about disaffected youth -- the prosecution and local media made much of the fact that the convicted teens wore black clothing and listened to heavy metal music -- what they found were three innocent young men who had been convicted of a crime they didn't commit.
"Paradise Lost" spurred international interest in the story of the three jailed men, who became known as the West Memphis 3, and Berlinger and Sinofsky felt compelled to make a follow-up film, 2000's "Paradise Lost 2: Revelations" to advocate for Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley to be released from prison and exonerated. The films garnered support not only from such celebrities as Johnny Depp, Eddie Vedder, Natalie Maines, Peter Jackson and Henry Rollins, but also sparked the formation of grassroots groups like the website wm3.org.