Joe Berlinger

A decent documentary guy.

Brother's Keeper (1992) -- Directed with Bruce Sinofsky. The documentary is about a group of somewhat mentally-challenged old brothers, one of which may or may not have been mercy-killed by another one. The movie suffers a little bit from trying to be another Thin Blue Line as well as a touch of condescension on the directors' parts (the end credits thank the townspeople for their "delicious pumpkin pie," and you know what that means--there's also an outtake where they bring the old guys who NYC in attempt to blow their minds, but it doesn't work), but when the movie works, it's because it has a bit of a heart and you can tell the directors actually do care about their subjects on a person-to-person level. The tagline of the movie, "A heartwarming tale of murder," demonstrates as much. The most heartbreaking scene is watching the most "nervous," shy brother take the stand in the courtroom and basically have a nervous breakdown. B

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000) -- I guess it seemed like a good idea to make a sequel to The Blair Witch Project, and I guess it seemed like a good idea to get a documentary-maker to film it, but in the end not much about this movie was a good idea. (See Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanches for the predecessor, The Blair Witch Project.) D

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