The Jinx: Film Analysis

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In 2015, HBO aired a six-part, true crime documentary series titled, The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst. Writer and director, Andrew Jarecki, examined the details of three crimes associated with Durst, including the disappearance of Durst’s first wife Kathy, the murder of his dear friend, Susan, and the murder and dismemberment of his neighbor, Morris Black. While the mini-series was met with acclaim, many – including myself – criticize The Jinx for its storytelling approach. The series seemingly blurs the lines of storytelling – for entertainment purposes – and journalism; raising many questions regarding ethics. Initially, Durst approached Jarecki regarding an interview after he saw All Good Things, a film Jarecki had released…show more content…
While filming The Jinx, Jarecki and the other filmmakers obtained a letter from Susan Berman’s stepson, written to Susan, by Durst. The handwriting in the letter appeared almost identical to the “cadaver” note that was mailed to the police after Susan Berman was murdered. Additionally, the word “Beverly” was misspelled as “Beverley” in both Durst’s letter and the cadaver note. Upon receiving the possibly incriminating letter from Berman’s stepson, Jarecki and the filmmakers were shown placing it in a safety deposit box, rather than immediately taking it to authorities. Per a New York Times article, had Jarecki brought the letter to law enforcement, it would likely have been seized as evidence. Had the letter been taken out of Jarecki’s possession the entire narrative of the series finale would have been jeopardized. The series finale of The Jinx relied on bringing in a forensic analyst to examine the handwriting in both the letter to Susan Berman and the cadaver note. By keeping the letter written to Susan Berman, rather than taking it to police, I believe Jarecki successfully preserved the suspense responsible for making the final episode so

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