Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky

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Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky

Joe Berlinger (born 30 October 1961) and Bruce Sinofsky (born 31 March 1956) are a team of American documentary filmmakers that have received large critical acclaim and cult-fame since their debut true-crime film, Brother's Keeper (1992)

The West Memphis Three[edit]

Originally intended to be a movie about "three guilty teenagers on trial for murder",[1] Sinofsky and Berlinger soon realized that their film, Paradise Lost which chronicled the murders of three 8-year old boys, Stephen Branch, Christopher Byers, and Michael Moore in rural Arkansas], eventually became about the fear and panic of satanism, along with questionable police work that lead to the arrests and convictions of three teenagers, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Miskelley; otherwise known as the West Memphis Three. Since its 1996 premier on HBO, the film has been largely responsible for the widespread support of the convicted men who were released from prison on August 19, 2011. Many believe that the three were convicted entirely on their peculiar personalities and choices in fashion and music.

The first film, being a more objective endeavor, had a follow up on the case titled Paradise Lost 2: Revelations which revealed more evidence and findings that intended to further prove the innocence of Baldwin, Echols, and Misskelley.

Citing other documentary films such as Errol Morris's crime film, The Thin Blue Line (1988), Berlinger and Sinofsky's intentions were to "have a more dramatic result"[2] with the Paradise Lost films by having the men exonerated from prison.

At the time of the trials the convicted men were fans of the hard rock band Metallica. Looking for music their film, Berlinger and Sinofsky asked the band. Metallica, who at the time were notorious for not allowing their music to be used in films, allowed the filmmakers to use their music for free in both of the Paradise Lost films.[3] These meetings created a friendship between the filmmakers and band and would lead to their eventual 2004 film, Some Kind of Monster.


Year Film Credited as
Directors Producers Editors
1992 Brother's Keeper Yes Yes Yes
1992 Terminal Bliss (Only Bruce Sinofsky) No No Yes
1996 Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills Yes Yes Yes
1998 Where It's At: The Rolling Stone State of the Union (TV Movie) Yes Yes No
2000 Paradise Lost 2: Revelations Yes Yes No
2000 Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (Only Joe Berlinger) Yes No No
2001 Good Rockin' Tonight (Only Bruce Sinofsky) Yes Yes No
2003 Hollywood High (Only Bruce Sinofsky) Yes Yes No
2004 Some Kind of Monster Yes Yes No
2009 Crude (Only Joe Berlinger) Yes Yes No
2011 Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory Yes Yes No

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joe Berlinger from Some Kind of Monster: The Film maker's Audio Commentary (2004)
  2. ^ Leveritt, Mara. Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three. 2002. Pg. 319
  3. ^