A small-town murder in New England became one of the highest-profile cases of the twentieth century. As the first fully televised court case, the Pamela Smart trial rattled the consciousness of America. From gavel to gavel, a nation tuned in, and reality TV was born. Pulsating with sex, drugs, betrayal, and murder, the trial inspired 20 years of television shows, books, plays, and movies, including To Die For, starring Nicole Kidman and directed by Gus Van Sant.
Unfolding with the suspense of a fiction film, Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart reexamines a case we thought we knew and cuts into deeper, hidden layers. With surgical precision, master filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar unmasks the role of the media in creating a skewed version of reality that the public now accepts as truth. Fascinating, sexy, and cunningly brilliant, Captivated makes us question everything we’re told as the line between journalism and entertainment continues to blur.
(text from the Sundance 2014 film guide)