More on the film from Filmmaker Magazine:
After a white Wall Street banker from the Upper East Side was raped, beaten, and left for dead on April 19, 1989, while out for her nightly run in the park, police immediately rounded up a group of black and Hispanic teenagers from Harlem accused of "wilding," a dubious term that denoted the terrorizing of random citizens by young hoodlums. Five boys, ages 14 to 16, were eventually charged with the assault — solely on the basis of their videotaped "confessions" — and sent to prison. Subsequent DNA evidence pointed to serial rapist Mathias Reyes, who confessed to the crime while behind bars at Rikers, and the convictions of the five young men were vacated in 2001, years after they'd completed their sentences. The Ed Koch-dubbed "crime of the century" had morphed into a story about an intolerable miscarriage of injustice, yet it barely registered in the news media.
The documentary premiered at Cannes and aired on PBS in April. It is available on DVD.
The filmmakers were pulled into a court battle in February, when lawyers tried to subpoena unused footage from the documentary. A New York City District Court judge rejected the request.
"The footage would have been used by the city lawyers in [a] lengthy federal suit brought by the wrongfully convicted defendants," wrote Lily Rothman for Time. "Editing by the filmmakers had made the subjects more sympathetic, the lawyers argued, and those outtakes might tell [a] different story."