The Fear Of 13, film review: Suspense, drama, and macabre humour from death row inmate Nick Yarris

(15) David Sington, 95 mins

Geoffrey Macnab
Friday 13 November 2015 01:37 GMT
Formidably articulate: Nick Yarris in ‘The Fear of 13’
Formidably articulate: Nick Yarris in ‘The Fear of 13’

Generally, books and movies about men on death row are told by outsiders – writers or film-makers (for example, Norman Mailer or Werner Herzog) who interpret the prisoners' lives for their own ends.

What is fascinating about Sington's invigorating documentary is that the inmate Nick Yarris recounts his story in his own words. He is formidably articulate, an autodidact who knows how to emphasise all the urgency, suspense, drama and macabre humour in the events that led him to be condemned to die. His account is complemented by reconstructions similar to those found in Errol Morris' The Thin Blue Line.

This is virtuoso film-making only partially let down by its artifice.

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