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      Shenandoah

      2012 1 hr. 37 min. Documentary List
      Reviews 73% 50+ Ratings Audience Score A coal mining town with an immigrant heritage struggles to retain its identity when four star football players are charged with beating an illegal immigrant to death. Read More Read Less

      Audience Reviews

      View All (10) audience reviews
      Audience Member This documentary was well put together, however the subject matter was sickening. I am guessing the average IQ in this place is about 6 Most of all, I REALLY wanted to smack that one kid's mother....ugh Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/15/23 Full Review Audience Member Ask yourself a question, what if a loved one was brutally killed, but you were the only one who cared about getting justice for the victim? That was the reality in the small town of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania in 2008, when a migrant worker was killed in a hate crime. Shenandoah is one of those small towns, where everyone knows everyone else, most people even work in the same place, but recently, things had been changing. Migrate workers had been brought in to keep the failing factories open, and the citizens of the flailing town were losing their jobs. One night some drunk teenagers were joking around, but to a recent arrival to this country, who didn't speak the language or know the culture, it looked like something else. As he confronted the teens, they proceeded to assault him, shouting racial slurs in one of the worst assaults the town had ever seen, and when the dust had settled, the worker was dead. After a brief investigation, the police linked the crime to several football players and charged them with minor crimes, but the town wasn't outraged, in fact, as this documentary explores, most of the townspeople actually approve of what the police did! This documentary is utterly shocking, taking us through the crime and investigation, while giving us a look at both sides from the towns reaction to the man's fiancee and the very few outsiders who actually faced threats and harassment, simply for asking that justice be served. Does this kind of thing really still happen in the United States? According to this documentary, the small town racist, gang, mentality is still alive and well, and it's closer than you think. Fighting it isn't as simple as going online and telling people about it either. The documentary was truly shocking, not just because of the ages of the boys involved, but for the sheer fact that these people thought they were justified in what they had done, and by how the react to anyone who tries to tell them differently. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/17/23 Full Review Audience Member The film opens up to the sound of fire engines and the squeals of children that evokes a kind of ominous feeling that foretells the direction of the film. We witness a parade of people celebrating the coming holiday season in this very small and outdated coal mining town in west Pennsylvania. This documentary is surprisingly filmed in 2012 even though one gets the feeling of being transported back to 1995. This community of people comes from a long line of very proud Polish and Irish immigrants. The hypocrisy of the film is that they are very opposed to the current movement of Hispanic immigrants into their small town, Shenandoah. Their racial views come into the spot light when the film centers in on an incident that had happened in the town. The director depicts the crime scene like a horror film leaving you on suspense. The dark images of the murder scene where a group of boys from the local football team beat a man of Mexican descent to death send chills through the audience. The viewer gets an inside look to the thoughts of one of the convicted murderers, Brian Scully who speaks as a naïve young boy. Throughout the movie you are conflicted with your feelings toward him as he seems to be a product of his environment held under pressure during the moments of the crime. Though he feels remorse for his actions, one is still unsure of how much he has learned. The film proceeds to show how this crime has affected the convicted, the families involved, and the town as a whole. The audience learns of the family of Luis Ramirez and the obstacles they have dealt with while living in America. The films juxtaposes Mr. Ramirez's home town in Mexico to Shenandoah to show the audience how similar the two towns are despite their cultural differences. One of the most compelling parts of the documentary are the scenes from a local protest, where community member's ferociously yell their opposing views on immigration and other racial ethnicities that seem to have "taken over" their town. The constant intolerance from the people of Shenandoah makes the audience understand how racial discrimination is still an issue in the United States. The director seems to have a reason for every style choice and organizational decision involved with the production of the film that makes the experience cohesive and interesting. Overall I feel this film does a great job of creating a compelling and objective view point for the viewer to create their own opinions. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/25/23 Full Review Audience Member Absolutely captivating and thought-provoking, Shenandoah brings the immigration issue to the forefront of a murder case. In a town where racism seems to permeate the lifestyle, director David Turnley seems to be able to get these citizens to open up about their feelings about the case in an a pretty transparent way. Definitely entertaining and fascinating. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Audience Member This is an amazingly complex and beautifully rendered documentary about a horrifically tragic murder of a hispanic man in a small town by a group of high school football players. Highly recommended. Compassionate and hopeful, showing an intimate portrayal of those involved and touched by this single event. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/24/23 Full Review Audience Member Great Documentary. Good insight into some parts of middle america. Surprised it hasn't been reviewed earlier Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/20/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Movie Info

      Synopsis A coal mining town with an immigrant heritage struggles to retain its identity when four star football players are charged with beating an illegal immigrant to death.
      Director
      David Turnley
      Executive Producer
      Joslyn Barnes, Danny Bennett, Caroleen Feeney, Danny Glover
      Genre
      Documentary
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Apr 25, 2019