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Robert Durst, scion of one of New York’s billionaire real estate families, has been accused of three murders but never convicted. Brilliant, reclusive, and the subject of relentless media scrutiny, he’s never spoken publicly—until now. During interviews with Andrew Jarecki, he reveals secrets of the case that baffled authorities for 30 years. In 2010, Jarecki made the narrative film All Good Things based on the infamous story of Robert Durst. After Durst saw the film, he contacted Jarecki wanting to tell his story. What began as a feature documentary ultimately became a six-part series as more and more of his incredible story was revealed.
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst movie full length review - Blurs the line between journalism and entertainment
The Jinx is a great show. I am not American, and I had never heard about the case nor the Durst family before this show. Going in knowing nothing led to some of the revelations being really shocking.
The fact that the show is so exciting is at least partly due to the case itself being absolutely bonkers on many levels.
But what makes it more exciting is the wealth of information, people and footage they got access to. You really felt that you were thrown into the middle of an investigation, and saw the case unraveling in front of you. And Robert Dust is a compelling figure. It's difficult to place him as either an eccentric evil genius, or a lucky loony. Probably he is somewhere in the middle. Some of the stuff he does seems more like a bumbling fool than an educated criminal, while other things seems really well thought out. It keeps you on the edge of your seat. His mannerisms and just his character in general is also perfect for a show like this. Because despite everything: He can be pretty funny.
So, as entertainment it was really good. That said: I did not like the reenactments. It felt cheap and out of place, and was not needed for the documentary. There were other parts that should have been left out as well, like when they start annoying a man working security in one of the Durst buildings.
But I guess one of the more important questions to ask yourself here is: should journalism go more in this direction? Because this was, have no doubt about it, made to entertain. Here's my initial thoughts: Except the literal victims here, there are no other victims of this show that I can think of. The friends and family of both victims and others involved seems to have gotten their say, or at least had the chance to. The producers did a really good job researching and investigating the case, and the presentation seems truthful enough. The focus on Robert never turns him entirely into a movie character. Througot the series you start to understand him more as a human being. Or at least the producers impression of him. For now I am in the position that journalism is probably going to go more in this direction, but it is a dangerous path, for it can very easily focus too much on the entertainment and to little on the responsibility of a journalist presenting a case.