“Free Chol Soo Lee” tells the story of a wrongfully convicted man who, after spending practically a decade in jail, was in the end vindicated in courtroom.
Nevertheless it isn’t an uplifting film. As a lot because it celebrates the exoneration of its topic, a Korean immigrant in California named Chol Soo Lee, this documentary, directed by Julie Ha and Eugene Yi, is anxious with how the results of the failure of justice rippled via the remainder of his life. It additionally considers whether or not the expectations of those that helped him, and his temporary second of movie star, could have weighed him down. Simply because Lee was harmless doesn’t imply he was good.
Born in 1952 through the Korean Warfare, Lee was ultimately taken by his mom to San Francisco. Having lived, by the film’s account, considerably aimlessly, he was convicted of a 1973 killing in Chinatown. Persistent advocacy by Okay.W. Lee, an investigative reporter for The Sacramento Union, and a coalition of activists drew consideration to vital flaws within the case. The method took years, and a separate loss of life penalty case in opposition to Chol Soo Lee, for a prison-yard killing, solely sophisticated issues.
“Free Chol Soo Lee” takes its cues from Lee’s personal phrases, learn as narration by Sebastian Yoon, and from the recollections of his supporters. Archival materials involving Okay.W. Lee, who mentioned he noticed a “very skinny line” between himself and the person he was overlaying, is very poignant. However “Free Chol Soo Lee” is considerably dry and, as criminal-justice documentaries go, sadly acquainted when it strays from Lee’s distinctive and grim perspective, which incorporates particulars of his struggles with jail life and despair. In a passage used as voice-over, he described loss of life row as a system “designed in order that the condemned man would kill himself earlier than his execution.”
Free Chol Soo Lee
Not rated. In English and Korean, with subtitles. Operating time: 1 hour 23 minutes. In theaters.