Dan Klores, Fisher Stevens
Co-directors Dan Klores and Fisher Stevens revisit one of the century's most compelling, unusual and disturbing love stories for this documentary. The scandalous tale of Linda Riss and Burt Pugach made every news outlet in the country in 1959, when jilted lover Pugach had acid thrown in Riss's face, making her virtually blind. Flash-forward to the 1990s, and Riss and Pugach are married. Klores and Stevens do a pretty good job filling in the gap using standard documentary techniques: interweaving interviews with the two principals and their friends with vintage newspaper headlines and photos. The directors too often overstep their bounds, however, with amateurish zooms and manipulation of photographs that only distract us from the material. The sordid narrative, which combines elements of contract killing, race relations, yellow journalism and sleazy legal drama, needs no help from Klores and Stevens to notch up the suspense.