Buried is a 2021 true crime TV documentary series written and directed by Yotam Guendelman and Ari Pines, broadcast on the Showtime channel. The four-part series focuses on the 1989 murder trial of George Franklin. The case was unique for being the first of its kind where principal testimony was based on recovered memory from an eye-witness.
The eye-witness was in fact Eileen Franklin, the daughter of the accused, who suddenly remembered witnessing the rape and murder of her childhood best friend. Buried reveals the repercussions of that fateful assertion of the subconscious and the infinite questions it sparked.
The narrative behind Buried is highly manipulative. The first episode presents Eileen as the heroine – her sensational revelations – twenty years after the fact – come across as sincere and traumatic. All the sympathy is directed in favour of Eileen. This changes in episode two where doubt is raised concerning Eileen’s credibility. In effect, we are getting the defence’s side of the story. There are many inconsistencies in Eileen’s testimony. As a viewer, we are not quite so sure as we were before about the veracity of Eileen’s claims.
The crux of the argument relies heavily on whether previously repressed memories now recovered can be used as evidence in a court of law, and in this case, a capital crime! As expected, there are experts on either side of the fence, arguing either that repressed memory is real or that it is false, as the case may be. As a viewer, it is obviously difficult to take one side or the another as the evidence is compelling either way!
Apart from the legal and factual intricacies of the murder case, Buried is also about a dysfunctional and fractured family – the Franklins. The dirty laundry that is aired all over the airwaves during and even after the George Franklin trial is shocking, shameful and tragic. Highly recommended.
… still there’s more …