For more than 20 years, starting in the early seventies, Jimmy (Whitey) Bulger brutally ruled much of the organized crime – extortion, rackets, drugs, loan-sharking, murder – in South Boston and did so with seemingly little to no interference from legal authorities. Oscar-nominated director Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory) explores, in dense, thorough detail, this peculiar state of affairs, using Bulger’s two-month trial last year as his hook. While some Canadian viewers may find the doc’s unrelenting American focus and elusiveness off-putting, most, I suspect, will find themselves sucked into its stifling miasma of corruption, complicity and manipulation. With a large cast of wise guys, reporters, ex-cops, victims and lawyers, lawyers, lawyers, it’s like five seasons of The Wire distilled into one epic episode.
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