HBO documentary films investigates a chilling murder mystery from India in The Talwars: Behind Closed Doors. The premium cabler has long delivered top-notch documentaries, but in recent years it has been tapping into some remarkable, and often disturbing, stories that are stranger than fiction. Just this year HBO has delivered The Inventor: Out For Blood, about the Theranos scandal and Elizabeth Holmes, as well as the painful Leaving Neverland, in which James Safechuck and Wade Robson detailed their alleged years’ long abuse by Michael Jackson.
That’s just a small sampling of what HBO’s documentaries have to offer and soon the network will deliver the true crime doc, The Talwars: Behind Closed Doors, which details a horrific double homicide in an upper class home that incited a national obsession, and put the family of the victims in the spotlight. The case itself is eerily reminiscent of the Jonbenet Ramsey case that similarly captivated the United States in the ‘90s and for many years to follow, both in terms of how the family was scrutinized by the public and the media, and how the cases remain unsolved.
And while the documentary has a true crime element to it, and will undoubtedly explore the circumstances and evidence in the double homicide, the film itself is positioned to examine the fallout of the case, from its initial investigations through the questionable outcomes of the subsequent trials. In addition, the film will also probe the social and economic circumstance surrounding the victims — in this case the daughter of a wealthy family and their servant — and how the idea of justice is different for them both.
“BEHIND CLOSED DOORS examines the mystery behind the double murder of a 13-year-old girl, Aarushi Talwar, and her family’s servant, Hemraj Banjade, in their home in Noida, India, which sparked a media frenzy and has haunted an entire nation for more than a decade. The film reconstructs the story, beginning with the discovery of the murders, charting the initial missteps by local police, the hurried transfer of the case to India’s Central Bureau of Investigation, the use of dubious interrogation techniques, the sensational criminal trial and the multiple legal appeals. The documentary explores how class divisions and cultural biases clouded the search for answers, which remain elusive today.”
In all, it appears to be a fascinating examination of a case many Americans may not be familiar with, but will certainly recognize many aspects of. The real-life nature of the film may also make it a captivating respite from the usual summer blockbuster fare.
The Talwars: Behind Closed Doors premieres Tuesday, July 16 @8pm and concludes Wednesday, July 17 @8pm exclusively on HBO.