Alice King
August 01, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Brother's Keeper

Current Status
In Season

We gave it an A

On its 10th anniversary, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s clear-eyed but sympathetic chronicle of an alleged fratricide in a central New York hamlet is as engrossing as ever. The filmmakers follow the ”Ward Boys” — four barely literate dairy farmers who have lived for 60-odd years amid the squalor of their tumbledown shack — after the second-eldest is found dead and his brother Delbert is charged with the murder. Was he railroaded into a confession? Was it a mercy killing? A gripping courtroom drama is enlivened by a glimpse into a rarely seen corner of rural America.

EXTRAS The scrapped original ending, in which the Wards made the trip to New York City, becomes a short film. But please, how about subtitles for the toothless brothers’ often incomprehensible speech?

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