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In An Eye for an Eye, filmmaker visited killer Mark Stroman on death row

In An Eye for an Eye, the Israeli filmmaker Ilan Ziv visited killer Mark Stroman on death row and eventually befriended the man he came to see as a remorseful enigma.

3 out of 4 stars

Title
An Eye for an Eye
Written by
Ilan Ziv
Directed by
Ilan Ziv
Starring
Mark Stroman, Ilan Ziv
Genre
Documentary
Classification
14A
Country
Canada
Language
English
Year
2016

In the days following the terror attacks of Sept. 11, with his white-supremacist rage fully triggered, the self-proclaimed "Texas loud, Texas proud" redneck Mark Stroman began "hunting Arabs," which involved shooting people he believed were Muslims from the Middle East. His victims ended up being immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and a Hindu from India. The State of Texas convicted him of murdering a convenience-store clerk and sentenced him to death. The Israeli filmmaker Ilan Ziv visited the killer on death row and eventually befriended the man he came to see as a remorseful enigma. With a captivating low-budget film that argues against the death penalty, Ziv paints the killer as a man damaged by an ugly upbringing. Astonishingly, the lone survivor of Stroman's spree begins a campaign to get the man who shot and half-blinded him off death row. Having the killer's bad, blog-posted poetry read by a drawling actor comes off as a twangy parody of a Ken Burns documentary, but otherwise a well-layered film makes a fascinating case for forgiveness and a sharp rebuke of Bible-taught eye-for-an-eye revenge.

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