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Last week, when a doctored video of the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, began circulating on Facebook, it seemed like it would only be a matter of time before it was removed. After all, just one day before, Facebook proudly announced that it had recently removed 2.2 billion fake accounts between January and March as part of its expanded efforts to curb the platform’s circulation of misinformation. The video, which was manipulated to make Pelosi seem drunk and confused, is not a particularly sophisticated fake. But it was convincing enough that countless commenters believed it to be true and sent it spinning through cyberspace. At one point, there were seventeen versions of the video online; various iterations had jumped to Twitter and YouTube, and one was picked up by Fox News. The Fox News clip was then posted on Twitter by President Trump. Within hours, a version of the doctored video had been viewed more than two million times.

The Pelosi video was reminiscent of one broadcast on Facebook, last June, just after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary for New York’s Fourteenth Congressional District. What appeared to be an interview between Ocasio-Cortez and Allie Stuckey, the host of the online political channel Conservative Review, which made the young, self-declared democratic socialist look foolish and uninformed, was, in fact, a cut-and-paste job: answers from a legitimate public-television interview with Ocasio-Cortez were paired with new questions posed by Stuckey which were designed for maximum humiliation. In less than twenty-four hours, the video was viewed more than a million times. When Facebook was asked to take it down, the company demurred, saying that the bogus interview did not violate its “community standards” because Stuckey told them that it was meant as satire and that Facebook does not police humor. Similarly, Facebook refused to remove the Pelosi video because, according to Monika Bickert, the company’s head of global policy management, it does not violate the company’s community standards, even though it is demonstrably false.

Facebook’s community standards are not regulations. They are not laws. They are arbitrary and fuzzy guidelines developed by employees of a private company that are then open to interpretation by people paid by that company, and enforced—or not—by other employees of that company. Such solipsism accounts for Bickert’s inability to give CNN’s Anderson Cooper a straight answer when he asked her if the company would take down a similarly doctored video of Donald Trump that made the President, a known teetotaler, appear to be inebriated. The correct response, if the company were to follow its reasoning for not removing the Pelosi video, should have been no. But because Facebook’s community standards are interpreted subjectively and applied inconsistently, Bickert did not, and could not, answer.

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How Facebook developed its roster of community standards is instructive. As Tim Sparapani, the company’s former director of public policy, told the “Frontline” journalist James Jacoby, “We took a very libertarian perspective here. We allowed people to speak. And we said, If you’re going to incite violence, that’s clearly out of bounds. We’re going to kick you off immediately. But we’re going to allow people to go right up to the edge and we’re going to allow other people to respond. We had to set up some ground rules. Basic decency, no nudity, and no violent or hateful speech. And after that, we felt some reluctance to interpose our value system on this worldwide community that was growing.”

Choosing to allow false information to circulate on Facebook is not just “interposing” the company’s value system on those who use its platform, it is actually imposing its value system on the culture at large. In Bickert’s conversation with Cooper, she continually fell back on her company’s commitment to keeping its users “safe,” by which she meant free from the threat of physical harm. For a company whose products have been used to incite genocide and other kinds of violence, this is a crucial, if not always successful, aim. But safety is not one dimensional; when a company that operates a platform with more than two billion users takes a value-free position on propaganda, ancillary perils and threats will follow.

Bickert also repeatedly pointed out to Cooper that the Pelosi video now contains a warning stating that fact-checkers have determined it to be untrue. But that, too, is untrue. Rather, it comes with a notice that says, “Before you share this content, you might want to know that there is additional reporting on this from PolitiFact, 20 Minutes, Factcheck.org, Lead Stories and Associated Press.” Bickert told Cooper, “We think it’s up to people to make an informed choice what to believe.” What she seems to mean is that viewers can decide for themselves if the fact-checkers are right, or if the determination that this is fake news is itself fake news. This suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning of fact or the point of having fact-checkers in the first place.

Facebook is continually falling back on the premise that it is a social-media company and not a media company, meaning that its allegiance is to free expression rather than to the truth. This is disingenuous. Facebook calls a user’s main page a “news feed.” And forty-three per cent of American adults say that they get their news from Facebook, more than from any other social-media site. Indeed, last year, in its response to a lawsuit brought by Six4Three, a bikini app startup, for breach of contract, the company cast itself as a publisher, with editorial discretion to publish what it wants. As Eric Goldman, a professor at Santa Clara University Law School, told the Guardian at the time, “It’s politically expedient to deflect responsibility for making editorial judgements by claiming to be a platform. . . . But it makes editorial decisions all the time, and it’s making them more frequently.” Choosing not to remove the Pelosi video, for example, is an editorial decision.

A few months before the 2018 midterm elections, I asked Zac Moffatt, Mitt Romney’s digital director in 2012 and the C.E.O. of Targeted Victory, a Republican strategy firm that sometimes works with Facebook, what he expected to see in future elections. “I worry all the time about the ability of people to create video content that is not true in origin, and the distinction is almost impossible to make,” he said. “These are really very scary trends. That’s what I think about the most: How will you determine what’s real and what is not real? I mean it’s hard now, but when video can be faked to that degree, I find that very scary going into 2020.”

It should be no consolation that the Pelosi video did not achieve the level of sophistication anticipated by Moffat. What Facebook and Twitter (which has also refused to remove it) have done is to make it clear to anyone with malign intent that it’s fine to distort the truth on these platforms. They are sanctioning the creation of misinformation and injecting it into the public consciousness. Bickert told Cooper that after Facebook learned that the Pelosi video was a fake, it had “slowed down the virality.” In other words, it will continue to infect the culture.

Ayşegül Savaş Reads “Canvas”

May 29, 2019 | News | No Comments

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Ayşegül Savaş reads her story from the June 3, 2019, issue of the magazine. Savaş is a Turkish writer who lives in Paris and teaches at the Sorbonne. Her first novel, “Walking on the Ceiling,” was published in April.

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The hit sitcom “Modern Family” is set to end next year. But fear not. There are any number of other modern families to observe, now that our long-running favorite is disbanding, including the following:

A Guatemalan child is held at a border detention facility in Arizona; his parents are held at a border detention facility in Texas.

A throuple of parents, and they’re all running for President in 2020.

The man is pregnant. (Well, he’s not, but he does frequently use the phrase “We’re pregnant.”)

The former president of Dartmouth’s Kappa Alpha frat has kids, and he thinks it’s funny to name all of them Chad (and, honestly, it is!).

Jeff Bezos’s seventy billion dollars and MacKenzie Bezos’s seventy million dollars really miss each other following the divorce, so they decide to live in the same bank account, despite being legally separated.

Siri and Alexa give birth to Spotify’s newest feature.

Ariana Grande, Pete Davidson, Kate Beckinsale, and Ariana’s pig all appear on the cover of Us Weekly together.

The Dartmouth frat boy takes Marie Kondo a bit too seriously, and there goes one of his Chads—oops! Chad is out on his own.

Everyone indicted by Robert Mueller comes together for a Thanksgiving potluck. Sure, they all hate each other, but no more than their wives do!

A woman sells her eggs. Another family buys her frozen eggs. They want to defrost them, but everyone knows that microwaved eggs are gross. They end up buying Kondo’d Chad’s sperm. This is the money Chad needs to finally turn his life around.

“Harry & Meghan: Civilian Edition.” (Meghan is allowed to tweet.)

Anyone literate and Mitch McConnell give birth to half-literate children.

The frozen-egg baby (which is, thankfully, not what they call her) is born and actually prefers oat milk.

We see a rise in the “government-mandated family”—families that “form” after the government outlaws abortion.

An American family, but now they’re in Canada, for obvious reasons.

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Chad marries a woman who is then murdered. The murder is the subject of season twelve of “Serial.” Through this newfound podcast fame, Chad meets Tricia, whose spouse’s murder is covered on “My Favorite Murder.” They live a traumatized life together, never being able to sleep at the same time, but they do go on each other’s podcasts and break the charts.

Netflix stops letting multiple people use the same password, so an entire immediate family (all forty-seven of them—birth control is now illegal, too) get together every weekend to binge-watch season nineteen of “Stranger Things.” They don’t speak a word to one another, mostly because they can’t keep one another’s names straight.

The frozen-egg baby lives at home until she’s forty, and, honestly, whatever; it’s not a big deal.

Chad and Tricia become a contemporary Romeo and Juliet: she’s a raw-food vegan; he’s paleo; their families don’t approve. She dies of anemia, and, because of his history with wives dying, he gets blamed.

Trump has amended the Constitution and is serving his sixth term as President. (It’s not Howard Schultz’s fault, but it’s not not his fault.) The population of the United States is now five billion people. It’s too many people; Fifth Avenue is renamed “The Line for the Met.” Despite incessant calls for his resignation, Trump declares the United States one big happy family, which makes it the most modern family of all.

Chad, looking to redeem himself, decides to be the one to finally unseat Trump. Even though some people think that he’s a murderer, the popularity of “Serial” enables him to carry the vote, and he wins! He doesn’t have a First Family, but he does invite the frozen-egg baby to come live with him in the White House, in a historic first.

Trump, in a fit of rage, abandons his own family and leaves the country, which leads to the final, modernest of the modern families. . . .

Melania Trump, free at last.

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Photographer: Getty Images

As the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup nears and the Matildas, Australia’s national women’s football team, gears up to represent the country in France, we thought a refresher on all you need to know ahead of the highly-anticipated quadrennial tournament was in order.

With the international football championship slated to kick off on June 7, read on for how you can watch the FIFA Women’s World Cup from Australia, what time you need to tune in to see the Matildas play, which countries they need to beat in order to advance to the quarter-finals and why you should be showing your support for our national team.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup is an international football championship that has taken place every four years since its inception in 1991. Women’s national teams of the member associations of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) compete to qualify in the tournament, before 24 teams are selected and split up into six groups of four teams, based on their FIFA World Ranking.

Throughout the course of the month-long football championship, the top two teams from each group, together with the four best third-placed teams advance from the group phase to the knockout phase kicked off by round 16. This is followed by the quarter-final, semi-final and final, where the winner is decided after a total of 52 matches. The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup will also be used by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to qualify three teams for the 2020 Summer Olympics, which is slated to take place in Japan.

Now in its eighth edition, the FIFA Women’s World Cup has seen a number of national teams take home the prestigious international title. In 1991 the first cup, which was hosted in China, was won by the USA. Hosted in Sweden, the 1995 cup was won by Norway, before the USA hosted and won again in 1999. The USA hosted for the second time in a row in 2003, Germany won that edition and the following, which was held in China in 2007. In 2011, Japan won in Germany, and in 2015, the USA won for the third time in Canada.

Every four years, countries nominate themselves as hosts, before one is selected based on a criteria that covers everything from cost efficiency and the support of the football community, to the country’s existing infrastructure and potential for promotion. In its inaugural year, the FIFA Women’s World Cup was hosted by China, followed by Sweden in 1995, USA in 1999 and 2003, China again in 2007, Germany in 2011 and finally Canada in 2015.

In 2015, it was announced that France would host the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. While this is the country’s first time hosting the championship, France is no stranger to welcoming international football tournaments, having hosted the FIFA World Cup twice. The nine French cities selected to host matches include Montpellier, Nice, Valenciennes, Paris, Lyon, Reims, Le Havre, Grenoble, and Rennes.

The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup is slated to take place from June 7 to July 7. Host France will take on Korea Republic on June 7, kicking off the group phase, before the quarter-finals take place from June 27-29, the semi-finals from July 2-3, the match for third place on July 6, and the final on July 7. Australia’s national women’s team, the Matildas, will play for the first time when they face Italy in Valenciennes on June 9.

On free-to-air TV, SBS will be broadcasting the opening match, all games played by the Matildas, the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final. However, the only place to watch all 52 matches will be via Optus Sport. Thankfully, if you’re not an Optus customer, for a small fee you can sign up to a 30-day subscription via the app for access to both live streaming and on-demand sport. Optus Sport has also announced that school-aged children will have free access for the duration of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

A total of 24 national women’s teams of the member associations of FIFA qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. These teams are set to represent the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China PR, England, France, Germany, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea Republic, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, and the USA.

Australia’s national women’s football team the Matildas, formerly known as the female Socceroos, qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup following their performance in the 2018 AFC Asian Women’s, where they reached the semi-finals. With a FIFA World Ranking of six, the Matildas were drawn into Group C, and are slated to verse Brazil, Italy and Jamaica. In the history of the tournament, the Matildas have represented Australia in six out of seven FIFA Women’s World Cups, and have only ever progressed as far as the quarter-finals. This year, the national team coached by Ante Milicic and captained by Sam Kerr, is made up of 23 players ranging from 16 to 34 years of age.

Tickets to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup are on sale now, and you can secure yours here. Individuals can purchase single tickets to each of the 52 matches set to take place, or choose from a selection of packages that differ depending on the host city and number of games you wish to attend.

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Design hotspots: Mexico City

May 28, 2019 | News | No Comments

Image: Hotel Carlota. Instagram.com/sliceofpai

The ever-changing metropolis of Mexico City may be home to an estimated 22 million people, but the issues of density (traffic, sprawl, pollution) do not distract from the Mexican capital’s cultural offerings. Diving straight into the superlatives, Mexico City is second only to Paris for the highest city count of museums (most of which are free), hosts more than 40,000 restaurants, has the largest city park in the Americas (Bosque de Chapultepec is double the size of New York’s Central Park) and the highest concentration of Latin American wealth (counting 86,700 millionaires), which spills onto the streets with a colour-saturated, sensory abandon. It is a city of exotic extremes: an ancient, anarchic place where the avant-garde makes no room for the middle ground and the people engage with incomparable warmth.

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Casa Luis Barragán, built in 1948, is the only individual property in Latin America to be acknowledged on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. As both home and studio to its radicalising creator, architect Luis Barragán, the immaculately maintained Modernist icon (merging both the international and regional vernaculars in colourful high-key) is one of the most visited museum sites in Mexico City. Reserving tickets online in advance is highly recommended.

The Museo Frida Kahlo, also known as the Blue House, is a historic house-museum dedicated to the life and work 
of the inimitable Mexican artist. Seek out the flutter of blue butterflies under the canopy of Kahlo’s bed, supposedly given to the artist by Isamu Noguchi,
one of her many admirers. They were so placed to salve the pain in Kahlo’s tortured body and promise flight from its grip. The rooms resonate with her presence.

To get a sense of the history and tumultuous hearts that informed the work of Kahlo and her husband, Diego Rivera, visit Rivera’s murals (considered his greatest work) at the grand colonial-style Palacio Nacional, seat of the federal executive in Mexico.

Ranked at 13 on the 2018 list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Pujol has recently changed location but not its trailblazing concept of Mexican fine dining. Find the city’s most famous chef, Enrique Olvera, continuing to innovate in his new Mid-Century Modern home, though Mole Madre, Mole Nuevo remains the in-demand house dish featuring an outer ring of mole more than 1000 days old.

STAY

Condesa DF is a 40-room boutique hotel housed in
a 1928 French Neoclassical building, overlooking the picturesque Parque Espana and Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City’s trendy Condesa neighbourhood. Architect Javier Sánchez and interior designer India Mahdavi have nuanced the prevailing Neoclassicism with cool contemporary comfort.

Another Javier Sánchez project in collaboration with designer Ignacio Cadena of Cadena + Asociados Concept Design, Hotel Carlota is a 36-room establishment that edges towards the fun and funky in service and style. Think Brutalist bunker, contemporary Mexican artwork, cool communal spaces and a glass-walled swimming pool, all positioned at the young, budget-friendly but fashionable end.

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27th May 2019

They are the public staging of a private joy, a strangely clamorous occasion when all that is most intimate in life is paraded in front of the world in a ritual of celebration that is both deeply traditional and unmistakably modern: the palace announcement on the easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, the tweet proclaiming the birth, the forest of photographers’ ladders outside the hospital.

Royal births: we can’t get enough of them. And little wonder, for they mark the moment when our common humanity, our natural inclination to celebrate the arrival of a new human being on the planet, collides with the celebrity gaze and, from the Royal Family’s point of view, the sense of quiet relief that the dynastic succession has been secured for another generation. Even if, in this case, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby is only seventh in line to the throne.

The script can usually be written in advance. The latest cast member in the royal soap opera makes their first appearance on stage (usually asleep), the world beams with approval, and someone somewhere says that the little mite looks just like its father, or elder sibling, or the Queen. All nonsense, of course, but it is what we do. And even avowed republicans cannot help having a quick glimpse, just to check and say, reluctantly, that yes, the baby does look quite nice.

It is at times like this that one has the greatest sympathy with modern royal women. They have just been through the most physically demanding experience of their life, and their overwhelming desire is to do nothing other than to spend time with their new baby, and rest.

Instead they have to leave hospital in the harsh glare of the public spotlight, knowing that a billion people around the world will be able to see them in high-definition close-up at a time when, just possibly, they might not be looking their best. The Duchess of Cambridge was the mistress of this miraculous transformation, managing on more than one occasion to pose for pictures on the steps of the Lindo Wing just a matter of hours after giving birth, looking so immaculate that one wondered whether a body double might not have been involved. It was, one might argue, something of a disgrace that the list of distinguished medics whose signatures adorned the palace announcement on that golden easel did not include the name of the make-up artist.

Royal childbirth as public performance is, of course, a modern phenomenon. Prince William was the first direct heir to be born in a hospital: the Queen had all her children at home, as did generations of royals before her. There were no cameras to bother them.

Princess Diana set the standard in 1982 for the well-groomed appearance outside the Lindo Wing, offering a bashful smile as she stood there holding the day-old Prince William.

Behind the scenes, however, it had been a different story. Diana was not happy with the way her officials told her that they had to come to the hospital to keep the public up to date. According to her biographer Sarah Bradford, she was furious and told them: “What’s that got to do with you?” Good question, perhaps, although it was one battle she was always destined to lose.

Her labour was long and difficult and at one point the gynaecologist George Pinker considered performing an emergency caesarean operation. In the end it was not necessary, and she gave birth naturally.

The following day there was that other ritual of royal childbirth, indeed, of any birth: the grandparental visit. The Queen arrived, took one look at the tiny bundle and said: “Thank goodness he hasn’t got ears like his father.”

Charles, reflecting the style of modern fathers, was present for William’s birth. He later wrote to his godmother Patricia Brabourne: “I am so thankful I was beside Diana’s bedside the whole time, because by the end of the day I really felt as though I’d shared deeply the process of birth and as a result was rewarded by seeing a small creature which belonged to us, even though he seemed to belong to everyone else as well!”

A generation earlier it was a very different story. Prince Philip was not present to see Charles being born: instead, waiting around in the equerry’s room with the rest of the Royal Family for news of the birth (he had been so distracted that he had to be taken off for a game of squash with his private secretary, Mike Parker). Once the baby was born, he rushed into the room to greet his new son, still dressed in his flannels and open-necked shirt. When Princess Elizabeth came round from the anaesthetic – she had had a caesarean, a fact which, thanks to the prudery of the age, did not emerge until some time later – he presented her with a bouquet of red roses and carnations that had been provided by Parker.

By the time Edward was born in 1964 – some 16 years after Charles – fashions had changed, and Philip was invited to attend the birth by the Queen, who had been much taken with the new idea that fathers should be more involved in the birth. Her confinement took place in the bathroom of the Belgian Suite in Buckingham Palace, which had been converted into a delivery room. According to writer Ingrid Seward, Philip’s jocular asides helped lighten the mood when spirits waned. As he walked into the bathroom and saw all the glum faces, he remarked: “It’s a solemn thought that only a week ago, General de Gaulle was having a bath in this room.”

By then – much to the relief of all concerned, no doubt – the tradition had ended of the Home Secretary having to attend the royal birth. The last Home Secretary to have witnessed the birth of a future sovereign was the Conservative Sir William Joynson-Hicks, who was waiting in the next room while Princess Elizabeth was born in 1926 and was said to have conveyed the news by special messenger to the Lord Mayor of London.

Four years later the Labour Home Secretary, John Robert Clynes, a former organiser of the Lancashire Gasworkers’ Union, had to travel to Scotland to witness the birth of Elizabeth’s younger sister Princess Margaret at Glamis Castle. With Margaret two weeks late, Clynes had to be put up nearby at Airlie Castle, a telephone line was set up between the two castles and a motorcycle and dispatch rider were also employed in case the wire broke.

While such traditions might seem extraordinary to modern minds, the Royal Family was used to having witnesses present at all important occasions, no matter how private. Even by the standards of the time, however, the birth in 1688 of James Francis Edward, the son of James II, was a rum affair. James’s wife, Mary of Modena, was Catholic, and public concern at the prospect of a Catholic heir to the throne fuelled rumours that she was not really pregnant. To quell doubts, more than 40 people were summoned to witness the birth at St James’s Palace. That did not stop the gossip, however, and the talk in the coffee houses was that the baby who emerged had been smuggled into the bedchamber in a warming pan. The child never became king: by the end of the year James II had fled to France, and the throne was handed to William and Mary.

Nowadays we don’t have coffee-house gossip: we have Twitter. And we don’t have all those doctors, priests, Lords of the Privy Council and Ladies of the Bedchamber summoned to witness the birth: instead we have to make do with 100 photographers and camera crews sandwiched together on the pavement outside. But the fascination and excitement of a royal birth remain unchanged.

The Times of London

This article appears in the 2019 Vogue Royal Special, on sale now. Buy it here.  

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Image credits: Getty Images 

May is undoubtedly the best month in terms of the red carpet. The Met Gala and Billboard Music Awards have come and gone with great aplomb, and now, our attention has turned to the South of France. Hollywood’s finest have, once again, shown us how it’s done, this time at the annual Cannes Film Festival.

Set to run for a total of two weeks from May 14, this year’s showcase marks the event’s 72nd season, and remains standing as one of the world’s most publicised film festivals. Known for championing extravagance, the Cannes Film Festival’s red carpet rarely disappoints, this year being no exception.

Many of the film industry’s biggest and brightest have already graced the steps (and will continue to do so) of the Palais des Festivals to promote their new projects. Eva Longoria appeared in custom Alberta Ferretti, a Gucci-clad Elle Fanning (above) posed dripping in Chopard jewels, and Victoria Secret Angel Romee Strijd wowed in a plunging white lace Etro Couture gown.

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The night also saw one of our favourites, singer-cum-actress Selena Gomez, return to the red carpet in a satin Louis Vuitton two-piece complete with a high-high slit. The star’s polished up-do let the show stopping diamond Bulgari necklace that was draped across her chest take centre stage.

This marks Gomez’s first appearance on the Cannes red carpet and is certainly the biggest event she has attended this year. Before making her debut in France, Gomez attended Coachella, We Day California and the Hollywood Reporter’s Empowerment event, however skipped out on the annual Met Gala last week, choosing to spend that night at Disneyland on the West Coast instead.

This year’s event is set to feature a number of highly-anticipated films, including Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and The Dead Don’t Die, which sees Gomez star alongside the likes of Adam Driver and Tilda Swinton. To see what each star wore, scroll on for a look at the best red carpet looks at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, below.

Selena Gomez wearing Louis Vuitton at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Romee Strijd wearing Etro Couture at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Eva Longoria wearing Alberta Ferretti at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Tilda Swinton at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Julianne Moore wearing Christian Dior at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Caroline de Maigret at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Angele attends the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Barbara Meier and Klemens Hallmann at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Chloë Sevigny at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Araya Hargate at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Gong Li at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Natalia Janoszek at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Andreea Sasu, Jeremy Meeks and Adam Abaida Atarshi at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Louise Bourgoin at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Hofit Golan at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Victoria Bonya at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Alessandra Ambrosio at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Estelle Lefebure at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Izabel Goulart at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Virginie Ledoyen at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Melita Toscan Du Plantier at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Golshifteh Farahani at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Julien Dereins and Anouchka Delon at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Deborah Francois at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Malgosia Bela at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Designer Agnes B at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Guest at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Guest at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Guest at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Marina Fois at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Nieves Alvarez at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Sririta Jensen at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Melissa Satta at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Anne-Elisabeth Bosse and Monia Chokri at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Silvia Braz at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Elle Fanning wearing Maison Valentino at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Julianne Moore wearing Louis Vuitton at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Amber Heard at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Alessandra Ambrosio wearing Julien X Gabriela and Boucheron at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Nadine Leopold at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Carla Bruni wearing Celine and Bulgari at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Araya Hargate at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Rocio Munoz Morales at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Lison di Martino at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Ola Farahat at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Jessica Kahawaty at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Sara Sampaio at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Bryce Dallas Howard at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Richard Madden wears Dior Men at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Taylor Hill at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Selena Gomez wearing Chanel at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Taron Egerton at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Sir Elton John wearing Gucci and David Furnish at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Izabel Goulart wearing Zuhair Murad at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Eva Longoria wearing Alberta Ferretti at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Isabeli Fontana at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Daria Strokous at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Maria Borges at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Taron Egerton at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Sara Sampaio at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Eva Herzigova at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Ellen von Unwerth at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Julianne Moore at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Chloe Sevigny at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Deepika Padukone wearing Giambattista Valli at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Sririta Jensen at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Eva Herzigova wearing Christian Dior at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Bella Hadid wearing Christian Dior and Bulgari at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Blanca Padilla wearing Bulgari at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Shailene Woodley wearing Christian Dior at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Kiddy Smile at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Elsa Hosk wearing Etro Couture at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Toni Garrn at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Diana Penty at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Aishwarya Rai wearing Jean-Louis Sabaji at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Anja Rubik wearing Saint Laurent at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Taylor Hill wearing Ines Di Santo at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Amber Heard wearing Elie Saab at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Emily Beecham at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Dita Von Teese at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Elle Fanning wearing Vivienne Westwood at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Sui He wearing Atelier Versace at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Penelope Cruz wearing Chanel at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Miles Teller at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Li Chun at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Lea Mornar at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Bella Hadid wearing Roberto Cavalli and Bulgari at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Martha Hunt at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Dame Helen Mirren wearing Elie Saab at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Isabeli Fontana at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Andie MacDowell wearing Toni Maticevski at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Josephine Skriver at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Monica Bellucci wears Christian Dior at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Sui He wearing Ralph and Russo at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Xenia Tchoumitcheva at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Ming Xi at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Delphine Wespiser at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Giulia De Lellis at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Lena Meyer-Landrut at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Iris Berben at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Toni Garrn at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Priyanka Chopra wearing Georges Hobeika and Nick Jonas wearing Berluti at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Maeva Coucke at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Marica Pellegrinelli wearing Etro Couture at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Camila Morrone wearing Miu Miu at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Leyna Bloom at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Heidi Lushtaku at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Rodica Lazar and Catrinel Marlon at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Anja Rubik wearing Saint Laurent at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Coco Rocha at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Julianne Moore at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Nattasha Bunprachom at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Sara Legge at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Huma Qureshi at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Lady Victoria Hervey at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Min Pechaya at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Ming Xi at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Petra Nemcova at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Anja Rubik wearing Saint Laurent at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Alina Baikova at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Anais Demoustier at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Valerie Pachner and August Diehl at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Jessica Kahawaty at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Dame Helen Mirren at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Praya Lundberg at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Abbey Lee Kershaw and Mica Arganaraz at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Camila Coelho at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Charlotte Casiraghi at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Anja Rubik at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Toni Garrn at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Eva Longoria wearing Atelier Zuhra at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Salma Hayek wearing Alexander McQueen at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Elle Fanning wearing Christian Dior at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Maimouna N’Diaye at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Wu Kexi at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Elle Fanning at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Josephine Japy wearing Christian Dior at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Fernanda Liz wearing Christian Dior at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Neelam Gill at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Hailey Clauson wearing Bvlgari at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Natalia Vodianova at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Dakota Fanning at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Léa Seydoux at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Eva Longoria at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Chloe Sevigny at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Natalia Vodianova at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Marion Cotillard at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Michelle Rodriguez wearing Rami Kadi and Piaget at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Leomie Anderson wearing Rami Kadi at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Josephine Skriver wearing Philosophy Di Lorenzo Serafini at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Karolina Kurkova wearing Etro and Chopard at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Coco Rocha wearing Elie Saab at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Hana Cross and Brooklyn Beckham at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Winnie Harlow wearing Jean Paul Gaultier and de GRISOGONO at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Sasha Luss at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Sara Sampaio wearing Giambattista Valli and Oliver Ripley at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Soo Joo Park at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Duckie Thot wearing Vivienne Westwood at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Elle Fanning wearing Christian Dior at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Luma Grothe at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Dakota Fanning wearing Giorgio Armani Privé and Chopard at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Doutzen Kroes wearing Tom Ford and Valentijn de Hingh at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Margot Robbie wearing Chanel at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Madison Headrick at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Camila Morrone wearing Miu Miu and Bulgari at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Sonam Kapoor wearing Ralph & Russo at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Elizabeth Sulcer at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Brad Pitt wearing Brioni and Leonardo DiCaprio wearing Giorgio Armani at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Tilda Swinton and Honor Swinton Byrne at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Chiara Ferragni wearing Philosophy Di Lorenzo Serafini at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Betty Bachz at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Tatiana Navka at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Colin Firth and Livia Giuggioli at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Karolina Kurkova at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Nina Dobrev at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Michelle Rodriguez at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Camila Morrone at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Winnie Harlow at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Adriana Lima at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Hana Cross and Brooklyn Beckham at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Pixie Lott at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Valentijn de Hingh and Doutzen Kroes at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Chloe Sevigny at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Patricia Contreras at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Chang Hyae-Jin, Cho Yeo-jeong, Park So-dam and Lee Jung-Eun at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Brad Pitt at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Leonardo DiCaprio at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Margot Robbie wearing Chanel at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Marion Cotillard at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Maimouna N’Diaye at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Adriana Lima at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Elodie Bouchez at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Lana El Sahely at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Noel Capri Berry at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Stacy Martin at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Winnie Harlow wearing Ralph & Russo at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Lorena Rae at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Izabel Goulart at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Josephine Skriver at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Alina Baikova at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Natasha Poly at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Leila Conners and Leonardo DiCaprio at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Lea Seydoux at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Martha Hunt wearing Monique Lhuillier at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Catherine Brunet at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Sara Forestier at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Lea Seydoux at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Marta Lozano at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Jasmine Tookes wearing Zuhair Murad at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Stella Maxwell wearing Atelier Versace at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Jasmine Tookes wearing Georges Chakra at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Eva Longoria wearing Alberta Ferretti at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Pamela Anderson wearing Ingie at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Cindy Bruna wearing Balmain at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Izabel Goulart wearing Julien MacDonald at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Karolina Kurkova wearing Gabriela Hearst at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Winnie Harlow wearing Richard Quinn at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Andie MacDowell at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Shanina Shaik wearing Georges Hobeika at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Milla Jovovich wearing Celine at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Dua Lipa wearing Maison Valentino at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Elsa Hosk wearing Redemption at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Natasha Poly wearing Atelier Versace at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Sara Sampaio wearing Armani at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Carine Roitfeld at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Luka Sabbat at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Adrien Brody at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Rebel Wilson wearing Sachin and Babi and Nigora Tabayer at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Chiara Ferragni wearing Giambattista Valli X H&M at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Chris Lee wearing Giambattista Valli X H&M at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Kendall Jenner wearing Giambattista Valli X H&M at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Kimberley Garner at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Catrinel Marlon at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Shanina Shaik at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Patricia Arquette and Harlow Olivia Calliope Jane at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Elsa Hosk at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Milla Jovovich at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Stacy Martin at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Olivia Culpo at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Chloe Sevigny at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Elle Fanning at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Malgosia Bela at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Nadine Labaki at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, 2019.

Have we reached peak true crime?

May 28, 2019 | News | No Comments

Photographer: Foxtel

American Crime: The Assassination of Gianni Versace.

“For the last year I’ve spent every working day trying to figure out where a high school kid was for an hour after school one day in 1999.” So began
, the 2014 podcast with a seemingly simple premise narrated by journalist and public radio host Sarah Koenig. A Maryland-set murder mystery, it told the true story of the disappearance of high schooler Hae Min Lee and the conviction of her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, who was accused of strangling her. Through phone calls with Syed, conversations with their friends and clips from the original trial, Koenig unpicked the case week by week, casting doubt on the state’s key witnesses, scrutinising their timeline and raising more new questions than answers. It made for addictive listening, launched countless conspiracy theories and Reddit threads, and had on average 2.2 million downloads per episode, a podcasting record.

Key to
’s success was the scale of the story it told. On one hand, it was a relatable small-town drama that played out in an ordinary school, but the overarching themes resonated far beyond those cultural and geographical confines. Koenig described the narrative as “a Shakespearean mash-up [with] young lovers from different worlds thwarting their families, secret assignations, jealousy, suspicion and honour besmirched.” Underneath this epic universality, there was also a sense of urgency and timeliness, with the show touching on issues like racial bias, Islamophobia, the fallibility of investigative journalism and the flaws of the criminal justice system. It was a slice of suburban American life that reflected a national unease, exposing our increasingly shaky and uncertain relationship with the truth.

The podcast was part of a sea change within the true crime genre that provided highbrow alternatives to the grisly potboilers that have always loomed large in our public consciousness. After all, there were 16th century oil paintings depicting the murder of martyrs, crime pamphlets detailing gruesome attacks throughout the 17th century and salacious newspaper coverage of Jack the Ripper in the 1880s. Then came prestige-laden literature in the form of Truman Capote’s
and Norman Mailer’s
, and with the advent of TV a slew of documentaries chronicling everything from the trials of Ted Bundy and OJ Simpson to the killing of child beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey.

Photographer: Getty Images

Serial.

In this oversaturated marketplace, what set
apart was that it offered the adrenaline rush of its predecessors but remained at its heart an intellectual exercise and, crucially, an unresolved one. Other programmes had also identified this appetite for thoughtful analysis over sensationalism. In 2015, HBO’s six-part documentary
examined the cases against New York real estate heir Robert Durst. Linked to two murders and a disappearance, Durst was acquitted of one and awaiting trial for another when he spoke to filmmaker Andrew Jarecki. After several candid interviews and an accidental confession, Durst was arrested just hours before the finale aired.

Later that year Netflix dropped
, the story of Steven Avery who served 18 years in prison for a wrongful conviction, was later exonerated and after filing a civil lawsuit against Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, was arrested again under separate charges. The show became embedded in popular culture and led to a White House petition demanding Avery’s pardon that gained over 500,000 signatures. The power of true crime programming, to expose perceived injustices and shape ongoing investigations, was undeniable.

There was a rush to meet the audience demand for more cold cases. The Australian podcast
studied the disappearance of mother-of-two Lynette Dawson;
reviewed different unsolved crimes each season; and
scrutinised the life of conman John Meehan (it was later adapted into a Netflix series starring Eric Bana). There was no shortage of true crime documentaries on the streaming platform either – from
, about the murder of nun Sister Cathy Cesnik who suspected a priest at her school was guilty of child abuse, to
, which looks at possible false confessions that led to convictions.

Photographer: Netflix

Making a Murderer.

While the ability to binge watch these shows online formed part of their appeal, primetime TV proved an equally effective platform for true crime. Ryan Murphy’s
delved into the trial of the former NFL star, set against the backdrop of fame, racism and police corruption in LA in the 1990s. Its release coincided with a new factual miniseries on the subject,
, which won the 2017 Oscar for Best Documentary. The following year, Murphy’s
told the story of the designer’s murder in reverse chronological order, focusing on the motivations of serial killer Andrew Cunanan.

One criticism they all faced, and one the genre often contends with, is the marginalisation of victims and the moral dilemma that comes with dredging up old memories that could upset their families. The Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg was keen to address this issue in her recent four-part HBO documentary
. A reappraisal of the investigation first discussed on
, it examines fresh evidence but also seeks to put Lee at the centre through the use of animated vignettes and readings from her diary. “In some ways it was a risky choice,” she tells
. “But I wanted people to get a better sense of who Hae was and hear about her life, her friends and her family. The final product had to be sensitive to Hae.”

Photographer: supplied

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.

Joe Berlinger had similar concerns. The director of
– a new crime thriller about the life of Ted Bundy starring Zac Efron – Berlinger wanted to retell the story from the perspective of Bundy’s girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer (also known as Liz Kendall). Played by Lily Collins, Kendall fell victim to Bundy’s manipulation and refused to believe he was guilty until the evidence became insurmountable. “I wanted the audience to have the same experience as Liz,” Berlinger explains to
. “Bundy duped her like he duped the media who made him a perverse star, like he duped the justice system that gave him such latitude that he was able to escape twice and represent himself at trial even though he was just a law student. He was allowed to prance around because he was a good-looking white guy in the patriarchal 1970s. If that had been a person of colour, you can bet he would’ve spent the entire trial in an orange jumpsuit and chains.”

The director explores this further in his Netflix documentary
. After it landed on the streaming service back in January, Berlinger remembers being on a flight back from Sundance where
had premiered. “I was walking to my seat from the back of the plane and every third person I saw had the documentary playing on their laptops,” he says. “Even I was surprised by how popular it was.”

Photographer: Getty Images

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So, how does he explain our compulsive consumption of true crime? “It’s something people have always been obsessed with and I think there will be an endless appetite for it,” he replies. In his view, we haven’t reached peak true crime – we’ve simply reached peak content. “There’s a lot of true crime out there at the moment because there’s more production as new players like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Apple and Facebook figure out what works. It’s a popular genre and so of course it’s going to incrementally benefit.” Alongside Berg and Berlinger’s projects, 2019 has already seen a controversial new documentary series about Madeleine McCann and two films about Charles Manson (
). Still to come is Ava DuVernay’s Netflix miniseries
about the Central Park Five and Quentin Tarantino’s Manson-era
.

While stories about prominent figures like Bundy, Simpson and Manson indulge our voyeuristic impulses and offer insights into troubled minds, the resurgent interest in unsolved cases suggests a different motive. “We like to put pieces together in our mind,” says Berg. “I think it’s the search for justice that drives most people to unpick cases like Adnan’s and when things don’t line up, when the witness changes their story six times, when there’s no physical evidence, we feel helpless as people who are dependent on the criminal justice system and need to discover the truth.” In an age of public disillusionment with politics, police, the press and the legal process, true crime allows us to take up the mantle for ourselves and try to find the clues that others have missed. Those observations could then become the catalyst for campaigns, petitions, reexaminations and retrials. “Otherwise we’ll always wonder,” she adds. “What if they missed something?”