The doc, the second part of which is broadcast tonight on HBO, explores the roles of technology and mental illness in the controversial death of Conrad Roy, whose girlfriend was convicted of manslaughter.
HBO documentary I love you now die: the Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter, that ends tonight, invites viewers to come back on the case of Michelle Carter, who was sentenced for manslaughter after the then-17-year-old woman apparently encouraged her 18-year-old boyfriend Conrad Roy to commit suicide through SMS and phone calls telephone.
Divided into two parts – the charge and the defense – Erin Lee Carr's film examines in more detail the controversial case and the role of technology in what has happened, while trying to paint a different picture of Carter.
Although it was known that Roy was suffering from depression, Carter was also struggling with a mental illness, according to the doctor.
However, Carr's main goal was to provide a broader perspective and to show Carter a new light compared to the girl obsessed with the popularity that the media presented to her.
"I just think that when people do not know the case, so that people sitting in the courtroom know it, you just know your visceral reaction to it. that she told this amazing and attractive young boy who is no longer there, "Carr said at a round table after the screening of the film in New York last week.
Similar to the lawsuit that follows, the documentary explores tens of thousands of text messages, many of which are troubling, exchanged between Roy and Carter throughout their relationship.
Carr includes critical analyzes of texts from various sources to prove that mental health, in the case of both adolescents, played a role in the events that occurred on the night of Roy's suicide, the doc telling the story of two young adults suffering emotionally. mentally and psychologically.
"By seeing this young woman experience this tortured experience, I think what has happened to her and that the verdict is not really fair," said producer Andrew Rossi, explaining that he was living what was arrived "as a parent". "I think more about all the inputs and the pain she has endured, but I do not think her texts have overwhelmed her and exceeded her free will."
Journalist Jesse Barron covered the entire trial for Squire and was featured in the film, providing commentary on Carter's mental state, which he has studied and studied for months. His observations have changed not only his opinion of Carter, but also his reporting, allowing him to tell a story similar to that of Carr, which he must understand.
"Erin explained how she wanted her film to give Michelle Carter the jury trial that she never had, and I think Reddit's answer and this answer here are the proof of that," she said. said Barron during the screening, adding that in large groups, "We can have the kind of conversations we could have had if this matter had been deliberate."
Carr says she expects viewers to return from the doc with a completely different view of Carter from what they originally had, but she especially wants that his film provokes a debate.
In addition to exploring an aspect of the affair that was not as prevalent in media coverage, Carr also recounts Roy's story, focusing on the loved ones he left behind when he family interviews.
"I think for this to be a HBO doc, you had to understand Conrad Roy. It could not be only Michelle Carter's story, she also needed to talk to him, "Carr said. "It was really:" How do we tell the story of someone who is no longer respectfully here and how do we tell Michelle Carter's legal, emotional and psychological story? "
Carr also wanted to address the complex relationship between law and technology. His film shows how technology complicates criminal prosecutions and raises the question of whether SMS can be considered criminal negligence and recklessness.
"I think one of the reasons this film is very powerful and why people associate with this story is that it's just a taste of what's going on." will happen when we really think about how the law confronts social behavior and powerful interactions had never happened before in these areas, "said Barron.