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Nick Broomfield directed this controversial documentary about Aileen Wuornos, a Florida prostitute who confessed to killing seven men between 1989 and 1990. Though Wuornos claimed to have acted in self-defense, she was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. While Wuornos was befriended by Arlene Pralle, an eccentric, born-again Christian determined to save Aileen's soul, her lawyer, Steve Glazer, was primarily concerned with whatever money could be gleaned from Wuornos' grisly notoriety. (At one point, he offered to give Broomfield an exclusive interview with Wuornos, and all her personal effects following her death, for 25,000 dollars.) Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer examines Wuornos' short, strange career as a media figure, and takes a closer look at her crimes as well as at irregularities in the police investigation of the murders. -- Mark Deming, AllMovie
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Chilling, disturbing, and maddening, this documentary examines the life of America's first female serial killer after her incarceration. Documentarian Nick Broomfield interviews a rather pathetic Aileen Wuornos, looking wan in her orange prison jumpsuit and sounding none too bright. Those around her, including her eccentric, born-again Christian lawyer, come across as moral criminals, using and abusing the media limelight for personal gain. Known for exposing the creepy and the crass, Broomfield simply turns on his camera and steps back. It does not take long before we are able to discern who is helping Wuornos, and who is trying to cash in on her notoriety. The downside of a Broomfield production is that he is almost a one-man show, and the lack of a budget is sometimes painfully apparent. Still, this is one of his best, both for the subject matter and the questions he raises. --Rochelle O'Gorman
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