I imagine that most of our readers have strong feelings about the death penalty, one way or the other. It’s not the sort of topic that leads to indifference. Whether you support or protest the right of a state to kill specific citizens that are convicted of heinous crimes, I expect there will be something in Werner Herzog‘s new movie to challenge your opinion. And what good is an opinion if it can’t take a challenge?

Into the Abyss: A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life is a documentary that follows the stories of a few death row inmates in Texas. Herzog talks to the inmates, and to some of the officers who investigated their crimes, as well as others who are involved in the lives and crimes of these inmates. By many accounts the film is a very even-handed look at those sentenced to die, and I can’t wait to see the film. After the controversy over the execution of Troy Davis here in Georgia, the film seems very timely. Check out a trailer below.

I love Roger Ebert’s pullquote, about how Herzog always seems to know where to look. That’s the crux of documentary filmmaking in a nutshell, and Herzog so often has his eye in the right place.

Apple has the HD trailer. Into the Abyss opens in a limited theatrical run on November 11.

Legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog (CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS, GRIZZLY MAN) returns with INTO THE ABYSS: A TALE OF DEATH, A TALE OF LIFE, a riveting examination of a horrible crime which probes the human psyche to explore why people kill–and why the state kills. In intimate conversations with those involved, including 28-year-old death row inmate Michael Perry (who was scheduled to die eight days after his interview with Herzog), the filmmaker achieves what he describes as “a gaze into the abyss of the human soul.” As he’s so often done before, Herzog’s investigation unveils layers of humanity, making an enlightening trip out of ominous territory.

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