He had been condemned to death for the rape and murder of a friend of his mother’s, Helen Bass, found dead at her home one night in November 1989. The inquiry led to his arrest, but the verdict was the result of a botched trial. So much so, that the case is used by the Police Academy of Wichita as an example that should not be followed under any circumstances!
MADE IN THE USA does not seek to rule on the innocence or guilt of Odell Barbes. The film’s intent is to show that there is serious doubt as to his guilt. Those who conducted the investigation sought to obtain a conviction and execution at all cost. Nobody really knows what happened that night in Harding Street. Is Odell guilty of her murder? And if so, was he on his own? If he was not, why has nobody looked for a possible accomplice?
Innocent or guilty, Odell Barnes was denied a fair trial and was executed regardless of any doubt. His is not an unusual story in a prosperous USA that finds it difficult to question its own ways.
AVAILABLE FOR SCREENING: original Engl. version with French sub-titles.
Festivals and Awards:
* Cannes Film Festival 2001: FRANCOIS CHALAIS AWARD
* Cannes Film Festival 2001: selected for DIRECTORS'FORTNIGHT