Toronto True Crime Film Festival Review: THE SANDMAN (2017)

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THE SANDMAN is a twenty minute documentary short by Lauren Knapp. It follows physician Dr. Carlo Musso who is present at the execution of criminals on death row in the state of Georgia. 

The concept of capital punishment is a very controversial topic and most medical people don't like to be involved because it goes against the hippocratic oath. Take that and splice in old footage from death row criminals along with old timey pictures and you have a very creepy film. 

Even though it's creepy, it's still a very good film. This physician, who began with creating health care for inmates, realizes that those members who are sentenced to death, die with no physician there. He realizes that if he were the one sentenced to death that he would want a physician there, but it takes its toll on him. It's very apparent when you see him tell his story, especially knowing that even though he has an oath to save lives, he has to witness so much death. 

His wife is troubled too because when she was 19 she was on a jury that sentenced a man to death, and even though she worked with the witnesses who were there for the executions, she was always haunted by the idea that she would be there for the death of that man. 

THE SANDMAN is a very deep film for twenty minutes and a very interesting perspective into a subject that is so controversial. I definitely recommend this short film! 

Michael Coulombe

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