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Venice Film Review: ‘Charlie Says’

Venice Film Review: ‘Charlie Says’

“Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the ’60s ended abruptly on Aug. 9, 1969.” This famous quote, from Joan Didion’s essay “The White Album,” refers to the date of the murders of Sharon Tate and four others by members of Charles Manson’s self-dubbed “Family.” And in coolly definitive white-text-on-black, it opens Mary Harron’s “Charlie Says,” which tells the story of the sluggish moral reawakening of three of Manson’s murderous acolytes, in the years after the killings, when they were incarcerated in the California Institution for Women.

As scintillating and influential as Didion’s work is, it is not without its detractors — those who find her memoirist’s approach to the journalistic essay form too colored with the personal to earn the sweeping certainty of her generalizations. But “Charlie Says” could use a little of that forceful, opinionated clarity — even at the potential risk of giving offense — because without it,

See full article on Variety