The Trials of Darryl Hunt


Top 40% of all time (see others with this rank)

Festival Year

2006 (click here to see all competition films from this year)


Documentary Competition

Non-Cast Credits

Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg, Katie Brown, William Rexer II, John Foster, Shannon Kennedy, Paul Brill


Innocent until proven guilty? Liberty and justice for all? Spanning two decades, this powerful documentary chronicles a brutal 1984 rape/murder case in North Carolina and a wrongly convicted man, Darryl Hunt, who, despite multiple trials and DNA testing that proved his innocence, spent nearly 20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. At once a moving human drama and a scathing social commentary, The Trials of Darryl Hunt reveals the insidious way racism still pervades American culture and our criminal-justice system. Hunt's conviction reverberates with African American men throughout his community of Winston-Salem as his trials play out against a backdrop of class and racial bias in the South. Utilizing exclusive footage in varying formats, directors Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg infuse their visceral film with two decades of perspective on the subtle, elusive impact of crime, race, and law on a community divided along racial lines. This chilling look at a life stolen and eventually redeemed defies our presumption that all Americans have the right to unbiased justice and exposes the need for judicial reforms to prevent other wrongful convictions. Darryl Hunt's shocking story is a searing reminder of the racial chasm that continues to haunt our nation.


David Courier (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)

Film Takes Pace.