Four elderly brothers share a dairy farm in the boonies of upper New York state. They are barely smarter than their cows, with some kind of genetic dim-wittedness. Without grooming skills, or reason to care, they soon are left alone in their muddy and filthy shack by their neighbors. Until one of the brothers dies. The older brother is charged with murdering him by suffocation as a mercy killing. There is no evidence — other than two of the brothers’ own confessions to the police. But they retract those soon enough. Kind of. Their intelligence seems to fluctuate by whim. This story is about the subtle degrees of mental illness and what is disability (can you run a real farm for 40 years if you are retarded?), and the reach or overreach of law and its cold justice. Mostly you want to know, did the accused brother kill his brother to relieve him of his pain? A honest murder mystery. I liked it because I realized that if I were the cops I would not know what was fair.
Directed by Joe Berlinger
1992, 105 min.
$3, Amazon Instant Video rental
Read more about the film at Wikipedia
Rent from Netflix
Available from Amazon