'Crazy, Not Insane' Trailer: A Look Into the Minds Of Serial Killers

'Crazy, Not Insane' Trailer: A Look Into the Minds Of Serial Killers

10/28/2020

The ever-prolific Alex Gibney has yet another documentary heading our way: Crazy, Not Insane. This HBO doc profiles psychiatrist Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis, who has devoted her career to studying serial killers and what makes them act the way they do. There’s a wealth of documentaries, and docuseries, devoted to serial killers, but so many of them tend to only focus on the crimes themselves rather than the root cause. Sure, it’s easy to shrug-off the actions of someone like Ted Bundy by saying he was just out of his mind, but Dr. Lewis’ work suggests otherwise. Watch the Crazy, Not Insane trailer below.

Crazy Not Insane Trailer 

I read and watch a lot about serial killers (maybe I shouldn’t admit that in print, but here we are!), and I’m always interested when a film or book tries to take a new approach to the material at hand. A great example came just this year – I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, HBO’s excellent portrait of Michelle McNamara’s quest to find the Golden State Killer. That series bucked convention by focusing more on McNamara’s hunt, and on the surviving victims, rather than the grisly details and the killer’s identity, and it felt like a genuinely mold-breaking approach.

Now, HBO has another serial killer-themed doc on the way: Crazy, Not Insane, which focuses on psychiatrist Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis and her study of serial killers. The doc comes from Alex Gibney, who somehow manages to make about a bazillion documentaries a year. The official press notes for Crazy, Not Insane say that it’s a “stylistic departure” for Gibney, with the filmmaker using “an eclectic mix of cinema verité, videotapes of psychiatric evaluations, hand-drawn animation and home movies in order to explore the complexities of the human mind. Lewis’s literary voice is read by actress Laura Dern to bring further insight into Lewis’ career and her cases through her writings. From images of Dr. Lewis scribbling on legal pads in her unruly living room to studio art classes she takes in life-drawing, Gibney’s portrait of Lewis intends to show a woman of limitless curiosity willing to explore places others are unwilling to go.”

Dr. Lewis began working with children, including violent juvenile offenders. This lead her to further explore “the way that trauma in childhood – often coupled with some neurological damage – can sow the seeds of murderous impulses in adults,” which in turn lead her to become an expert in dissociative identity disorder. Crazy, Not Insane arrives on November 18. The film will be available on HBO and to stream on HBO Max.

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