The first trailer for Amazon’s new four-part documentary series, Lorena, attempts to examine the sensationalism that fueled public interest in the Lorena Bobbitt case, and how, even after so much time has passed, little has changed in the way sensational headlines take precedence over the human suffering that often exists at their core. In addition to the involvement of individuals close to the case in all aspects, documentary will also feature interviews with Lorena and John Bobbitt themselves.
Directed by Joshua Rofé and executive produced by Jordan Peele, documentary is set to make its premiere later this month at the Sundance Film Festival, which was where the award-winning O.J. Simpson documentary, O.J.: Made in America also premiered before being seen primarily by viewers at home. It’s something of a similar case here, where Lorena has a chance to screen for audiences at a prestigious festival, yet find its way into many people’s homes via one of they streaming television services to which they subscribe.
Whether or not that means Lorena will find a wider audience than it would if it were to be released via a more traditional theatrical method remains to be seen, but given the conceit of the film is to explore the ways in which the media focused on the lurid details in the aftermath of a single event, rather than the cycle of abuse that created that outcome, the two-tiered stage release will likely give the documentary a greater chance at being seen.
“Directed by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Joshua Rofé (Lost for Life), Lorena reveals the hidden truths in the notorious case of John Wayne and Lorena Bobbitt and challenges the long-held narrative that surrounded this event. The series provides a fresh perspective on the story of Lorena Bobbitt and exposes how this event laid the groundwork for the modern 24-hour news cycle and increasing sensationalistic media coverage. Lost in tabloid coverage and late-night talk show jokes, the Bobbitt story was a missed opportunity for a national discussion on domestic and sexual assault in America. Lorena is a groundbreaking re-investigation of the deep moral issues and painful human tragedies buried at the heart of this infamous American scandal.”
The docuseries also signifies Amazon’s willingness to go after high-profile projects that might otherwise have ended up on Netflix. Given the latter’s catalog of true-crime and other documentary series, Lorena feels as though it would have been right at home at Netflix. Perhaps this is a sign of things to come with regard to Amazon’s focus on content for its streaming service.
Lorena will stream on Amazon Prime Video starting Friday, February 15, 2019.