Into The Abyss: A Tale Of Death, A Tale Of Life (2012 – Cinema)

“All life is precious, be it that of a squirrel or a human being”

Werner Herzog is a Director uniquely capable of the rare trick of delivering both devastating quality and unbelievable quantity. There always seems to be a new feature or documentary film out and ‘Into The Abyss’ is his latest doc focusing on the death penalty. Specifically he looks into the aftermath of a triple Homicide committed in Texas in 2001.

The interviews he has elicited from victims, inmates, guards and preachers are powerful and insightful, ranging from the comic to the tragic. But mostly the tragic, as a couple of interviews had people round me in the cinema sobbing. The most astonishing revelations come from the regretful father of a lifer who himself is in prison for life, describing the deep shame he feels. I would hope Herzog’s film would change the minds of people in the pro camp but even with my lifelong opposition to state sanctioned killings, it left me with much to think about.

Channel 4 is currently airing a companion TV based documentary series called ‘Death Row’ that I’m gonna have to check out.


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