Dear Mr Jarecki,
First off I would like to point out how much I enjoyed THE JINX. In fact, I think it’s one of the best and most thrilling documentaries I’ve ever watched. You really gave us the feeling of diving deep into the soul of Robert Durst. Thanks a million for this!!
In how far the story displayed is accurate I don’t know. Dick DeGuerin doesn’t seem to agree with you, but that’s not why I’m writing you.
In an interview I read the following:
You’ve said that you see yourself as an observer. Do you think it’s your responsibility as a documentary filmmaker to be working toward justice, or only to observe and document?
JARECKI: It’s the psychiatrists’ dilemma. You’re sitting there talking to your patient, and your job is to help your patient express himself and give him a safe way to do that. And then in the middle of it, your patient says “Oh by the way, I killed my wife.” As a psychiatrist, aren’t you also obliged to tell the police? To me and to Marc [Smerling], my partner, it was so clear that if we didn’t do something very serious, Bob was going to be in a position to continue what was essentially a 30-year murder spree. There’s no reason to believe he wouldn’t have more people to kill, and there was every reason to believe the families — especially Kathie McCormack’s family — had suffered for many many years because he was in a position to avoid justice. It wasn’t like we thought we were freedom fighters. We just thought, even if it puts our film at risk — which we knew that it would, to share this information with the police — we had to do it.
I disagree with you here.
First, I find it very hard to believe the microphone was on by accident. There’s this moment during the second session where the same happens. Why didn’t you take it off of him after the interview? Many other ways to get atmo recorded. Seems like you and Marc thought, “Let’s see if it works another time. Maybe, if he denies it, he’ll say something to himself later.“ I mean the man is 70, obviously delusional and suffers from hydrocephalus.
Second, I believe it’s not a filmmaker’s job to play ‚cops & robbers‘. You should’ve confronted Durst and his lawyer with what you recorded and let him decide what to do with it. He’s the one who has to live with the guilt for the rest of his life.
Sincerely and with best greetings from Germany 🙂