By: Patrick Doss
Dynamic characters always make the film going experience much more enjoyable. When they are real life individuals starring in a documentary, their character development is even more special. In the 2015 Andrew Jenks documentary dream/killer, Bill Ferguson fits this description perfectly.
The premise of the film, is about the mistrial of Ryan Ferguson, who was charged with the murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt. Despite major holes in the prosecutor’s case against him, Ferguson was found guilty and sentenced to over forty years in prison at the age of twenty-one. Angry at the injustice handed to his song, Bill Ferguson sets out to prove that the ruling is incorrect.
Bill works incredibly hard at proving Ryan’s innocence, and this includes visiting the scene of the crime daily and going through every single minute detail in the case. He eventually reaches out to high profile lawyer Kathleen Zellner for help, and Zellner offers to work Ferguson’s case pro bono.
The film features a lot of footage from the original trial, as well as the appeals to the ruling. It also challenges the American judicial system by revealing startling statistics. One of these statistics is that over 20,000 prisoners are currently serving time for crimes that they did not commit.
Dream/killer is a chilling documentary that tells a tale of injustice, and a father’s undying commitment to helping prove his son’s innocence. It does so in a fantastic manner. There are still a few more showings this week, and I strongly encourage anyone who wants to learn more about this subject to go see it.