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Apr 22

Into the Abyss

Dir. Werner Herzog USA/UK/Germany 107 min PG-13

2011 Sundance Selects

Following this free special screening, presented with University of Nebraska Omaha’s Grace Abbott School of Social Work, will be a panel discussion.

In his fascinating exploration of a triple homicide case in Conroe, Texas, master filmmaker Werner Herzog (CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS, GRIZZLY MAN) probes the human psyche to explore why people kill—and why a state kills. In intimate conversations with those involved, including 28-year-old death row inmate Michael Perry (scheduled to die within eight days of appearing on-screen), Herzog achieves what he describes as “a gaze into the abyss of the human soul.” Herzog’s inquiries also extend to the families of the victims and perpetrators as well as a state executioner and pastor who’ve been with death row prisoners as they’ve taken their final breaths. As he’s so often done before, Herzog’s investigation unveils layers of humanity, making an enlightening trip out of ominous territory.

Following this one-time screening will be a discussion — moderated by Amanda Duffy Randall, PhD, Director and Associate Professor, UNO Grace Abbott School of Social Work — with Kerry Beldin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Social Work, UNO Grace Abbott School of Social Work; Ryan Spohn, Ph.D., Director, Nebraska Center for Justice Research, UNO School of Criminology and Criminal Justice; and Matt Maly, Conservative Coordinator at Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

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