Films

John Waters is narrating a movie about dollhouse diorama death scenes

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Anyone else confused by the above video? I have no clue what’s going on. I know John Waters is cool. His voice is creepy. I see dollhouses portraying death scenes. And then a bunch of real people talking about serious criminal justice issues. Add up all of these and my final reaction is: “Cool. Wait, what?”

According to the film’s website, the documentary, Our Wildest Dreams: A True Crime Documentary of Dolls & Murder, explores a series of dollhouse murder scenes created to train police officers in the 30s and 40s:

Remember when we didn’t know DNA from the NBA? And “forensics” was rarely uttered, let alone the focal point of television shows and courtroom dramas?

Those days are far behind us. In fact, it looks suspiciously like we can’t get enough of crime investigation. Top-rated television shows feed into our insatiable appetite for forensic justice with programming like CSI, NCIS, Criminal Minds, Without a Trace, Cold Case, 48 Hour Mystery, Bones and Law & Order.

But it wasn’t TV alone that made forensics so hot that it’s the fastest growing college major in the United States. The stage was set back in the 1930s. And if it wasn’t for one extraordinary woman and her penchant for making miniature murder scenes, we might still be pinning all our hopes on dusting for prints.

The new documentary film, Of Dolls and Murder, explores our collective fascination with forensics while unearthing the criminal element that lurks in one particularly gruesome collection of dollhouses. Rather than reflecting an idealized version of reality, these surreal dollhouses reveal the darker, disturbing side of domestic life.

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