By Gregory Crofton
Artists and feminists and many others from around the world discover Schull, a small Irish town west of Cork, and then decide to make it their home. It is surrounded by beautiful countryside, all next to the sea.
West Cork is the location of the latest crime documentary series (three parts) from Netflix and Simon Chinn, the producer of “Searching for Sugar Man,” which took home the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 2013.
Netflix’s signature move of expanding a documentary into a multi-part series (Making a Murderer , 2015) has its upside, and but it’s downside seems larger. Still, watching this series was at first exciting and transporting.
The movie is very good at setting the scene, relating the culture of Cork through various business owners and residents, and introducing its cast of characters including family members of the woman who was killed, Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
It also reports disturbing and intimate details that preceded her death. For example, Plantier had taken to calling her Irish vacation home “Violence” when deciding between the purchase of it over another home. And just hours before her murder, she was visited by a ghost (of death) at a ruined castle.
But as this murder mystery goes beyond its first episode (the best one), a prime suspect emerges, and then continues to emerge some more, making somewhat monotonous. Then, as you begin to develop a sense of disappointment, you might think to yourself that all this great material would have been better served as one well-edited film.
Watch the trailer below.