No One Saw a Thing (2019)

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Finished up the 6 part No One Saw a Thing last night. First of all, I love that type of documentary. True crime mystery is fascinating to consider, although a bit creepy, and oftentimes shocking.

"No One" was well done, the problem is that the concept was only weak to moderate in its editorial position: that once a town had participated in vigilante justice, it ended up fostering further crime and isolation which caused the town to depress and deteriorate.

The initial 1981 Ken Rex McElroy vigilante killing was captivating, had been widely covered in the U.S. and foreign media, and featured in several documentaries. But the next incident that was offered as proof of the town's collective degeneration didn't happen until 20 years after the original incident. It, along with several to follow, was obviously the result of methamphetamine manufacture and use, which is a scourge in all areas that it exists. Skidmore was not unique.

I agree 100% with what the townspeople did. IMO all natural law is best at the local level. The 7 or 8 local citizens who formed the bulk of the interviews became interesting characters in their own right. But the premise of the embellished documentary was a little thin. I'm sure it sounded good on paper, but by the time the editing took place they likely had to strain to stretch the series into six 45 minute episodes.

Still, I'd recommend the series, because it really holds one's interest. I thought that the photography was exceptional, and the interviews themselves were nicely put together.
Available on Sundance TV and various streaming services.

Doc's rating: 6/10



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