Parents' Guide to

Why Did You Kill Me?

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Mom tracks daughter's killer; violence, language, drugs

Movie NR 2021 83 minutes
Why Did You Kill Me? Poster Image

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True-crime fans will find a lot to discuss and ponder. Why Did You Kill Me? takes a complex set of facts -- a random murder; California gangs and the socio-economic hardships that create them; a blameless victim from a family with its own history of felons and drug abusers -- and demonstrates the ingenuity of relatives who track down the killer when the trail goes cold for the police. Given all the tangents, director Frederick Munk wrangles this unwieldy story into a cogent and dramatically absorbing narrative. Lay "detectives" using the internet and social media to perform their own productive crime investigations have been chronicled in other movies, but this one shows that dogged determination can take highly motivated people to places the police might not go. Without being preachy, the documentary raises reasonable questions about the inevitability of gang violence where society provides few alternative, law-abiding paths to struggling young people.

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