Murder Among the Mormons (2021)
Title: Murder Among the Mormons
Genre: Crime | Documentary | History |
Season: 1 |
Runtime: 160 min (entire series)
Director: Jared Hess, Tyler Measom
Starring: Dorie Hofmann Olds, Shannon Flynn, Brent Metcalfe
The series follows Mark Hofmann, one of the most accomplished forgers in history, who created forgeries related to the Latter Day Saint movement. Hofmann created explosive devices resulting in two deaths, and was exposed as a forger and sent to prison.
AN INSIGHT IN DANGEROUS DOCUMENT-FORGING
With a voiceless narrator fixed with titles and graphics, the story navigates between interviews, reenactments, and archived newsreels to move the story further. Occasionally, the interviewer can be heard at some critical narrative points. The whole narrative split over a three-hour documentary in three episodes respectively goes deeper about the murder among Mormons. The bombings become more revealing. Shannon Flynn, a historic document dealer, is one of the eccentric characters involved in the short docuseries. The music becomes an irritating moment or distraction if you will. Some other people involved in the deadly bombings due to document dealings gives an impact as well. The flow seems to flow flawlessly occasionally.
The pace is good and provides enough insight on the subject as well. The reenactments don’t always sell the story well in its retrospective for the potential of its content. As it is detailed very well, it doesn’t add much more information necessary to the viewer. The relevance for the story doesn’t become present. The story itself is interesting but all the talks about document forging without continuing the crime investigation don’t give the mystery enough credit.
Joe Berlinger who serves as executive producer on this series also produced Netflix docuseries Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes which accomplished by keeping the interest up. But in some way, the episodes become a parody in itself and do not have the intriguing taste like the docuseries with Ted Bundy. Even if the story, gets occasionally dark, it’s not selling enough with the reenactments and the B-roll style with a voice-over from the interviewee subjects. This becomes in a way tedious as this does not resolve soon enough.
As it seems, Joe Berlinger is one of those executive producers who makes and directs half-quality docuseries. This is not The Keepers, Making a Murderer, or Tiger King in quality. Maybe most because this story is over thirty years old and doesn’t have complete relevance in modern times and doesn’t add nuance to the story as the main characters are dead. The investigation is partly interesting but there’s tedious and noxious storytelling but, in the end, it becomes mediocre storytelling that doesn’t live up to the classic true-crime Netflix formula.