Ava DuVernay and Netflix: a partnership made in cinematic heaven. Their first pairing produced an Oscar-nominated film; this time, the prolific filmmaker and the streaming platform will take us back to New York City in 1989.
Last year, DuVernay educated the world with her Academy Award-nominated documentary 13th, which focused on the history of racial inequality and mass incarceration in the United States. Now the Wrinkle in Time director will be turning her lens on the infamous case of the Central Park Five. The five-episode limited Netflix series is set to chronicle the case that began in 1989 when five male teens from Harlem, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise, were wrongfully convicted of raping Trisha Melli in NYC’s Central Park. All were released from prison in 2002, exonerated by DNA evidence.
DuVernay told The Hollywood Reporter, “I had an extraordinary experience working with Netflix on 13th and am overjoyed to continue this exploration of the criminal justice system as a narrative project with Cindy Holland and the team there. The story of the men known as the Central Park Five has riveted me for more than two decades. In their journey, we witness five innocent young men of color who were met with injustice at every turn—from coerced confessions to unjust incarceration to public calls for their execution by the man who would go on to be the president of the United States.”
If you’d like to get a deeper understanding of the case before the series premieres, be sure to check out Ken Burns, David McMahon and Sarah Burns’ PBS documentary, The Central Park Five.
Photo Credit: Getty/: Matt Winkelmeyer