Words by Karan Teli
This documentary is a whirlwind. With a runtime of 40 minutes, it’s shorter than a single episode of most drama series; but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton of drama to unpack in this one. Murder, TV and somebody within the American judicial system actually doing their job to their maximum capability is just a few of the themes unpacked in Long Shot.
The documentary tells the story of Juan Catalan, accused of murder, but adamant that he is innocent and no way involved in the crime. Sound familiar? Most murder documentaries don’t begin with a confession, so do not expect this one to be any different. However, the defence, put forward by his lawyer, is the reason this murder mystery story is documentary worthy.
Juan insists that he could not have committed the murder, as at the exact moment the police have determined the murder to have occurred, Juan claims he was at Dodger Stadium with his daughter watching baseball. Without the tickets to prove it, and his daughter being too young to convince the jury, Juan’s conviction, which would be the death penalty, seems all but certain.
He had not anticipated, that at the exact game he may or may not have been at, HBO were also in attendance, filming an episode of their hit show ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’. It seems like a very, you guessed it, Long Shot; but was there any chance at all that the HBO cameras which were focused on Larry David all day managed to unintentionally film any extras and passers by? And by mere luck, and the grace of God, would Juan be on one of those tapes? It was a clutching at straws defence, but with a death sentence looming, Juan and his team were in no position to turn down anything that could save him. The edge of your seat story makes for a great movie plot. You might even say an unrealistic movie plot, but life has a funny way of outdoing the movies, every single time.
Long Shot is available to watch on Netflix now