Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. | Chicago Reader

Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.

91 minutes

Fred Leuchter, an American specializing in the design and repair of execution equipment, becomes part of the defense strategy in the 1988 trial of Ernst Zundel, a Canadian indicted for publishing “false history with intent to incite racial hatred,” in this exquisitely stylized documentary directed by Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line). Using archly staged interviews and reconstructions that draw attention to the components of the documentary form, Morris does justice to the complexity of hot-button issues by suggesting several layers of subtext at once, portraying the articulate Leuchter as both rational and prone to rationalize (1999).

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