True/False In Every Sense

Since 2004, one weekend every spring is dedicated to the True/False Film Festival. Thousands flock to Columbia, MO to watch the many films shown throughout downtown, enjoy live music and unique artwork, and partake in this rare event.

This is my first True/False Film Fest that I have attended. Being new to CoMo my freshman year, I had no idea that the town would come to life with such vigor. I hid away in the safety of my room for the majority of the weekend. After the fest had ended, I heard of all the amazing stories told in the films, the great experiences my friends had and the variety of people to meet just a mile from my residence hall. I was appalled with myself. Why would I dare avoid such a great event?

So this year, I decided that I was going to participate. I may be poor, but the goal is to watch at least three films.

I saw my first film last evening. It was titled Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart. The film took us back to 1991 when 22-year-old Pamela Smart was convicted as an accomplice to first-degree murder and sentenced to a lifetime behind bars without chance of parole. Smart’s husband, Gregg Smart, had been shot in the head during, what appeared at the time, a burglary gone awry. However, three boys were later charged with the murder, one of which happened to be the 16-year-old lover of Pamela Smart. Smart had worked for the school district that the three boys attended and it was believed that she had paid each $1,000 to kill husband Gregg.

Director Jeremiah Zagar takes viewers to the time of the trial, but provides many unique perspectives. Though the story is about the case of Pamela Smart, there is a large focus on the media storm. This trial was the nation’s first taste of reality television. The case was covered by news outlets from coast to coast.


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