- 1 Season
Leavenworth is a thrilling true-crime documentary series from Starz, released in 2019, that delves into the controversial court-martial of a U.S. Army infantry officer named Clint Lorance. The series provides an in-depth investigation of the incident that led to Lorance's arrest and conviction, and explores the gray areas of military justice and order amid the heat of battle in war zones. The five-part series is directed by Emmy-winning filmmaker and cinematographer Steven Soderbergh, and was created by award-winning executive producers Paul Pawlowski and David Check.
The story of Leavenworth begins on July 2, 2012, in Afghanistan, when Lorance, who was serving as a first lieutenant of an infantry platoon, gave an order to his soldiers to fire upon three Afghan men who were approaching their unit on a motorcycle. Lorance claimed that he suspected the three men were Taliban fighters, despite testimony from his soldiers that the men were not armed and posed no threat. Two of the men died in the attack, and Lorance was subsequently charged with a number of serious crimes, including murder and disobeying orders.
The first episode of Leavenworth sets the stage for the dramatic trial that would unfold over the next several months, and provides a glimpse into the lives of the soldiers serving in Afghanistan at the time. The show introduces viewers to Lorance through interviews with him, his family members, and other soldiers who served with him. The episode also features commentary from legal experts and military analysts, who offer insights into the complex legal issues surrounding the case. The episode ends with Lorance being convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
In the following episodes, Leavenworth delves into the various topics related to Lorance's court-martial, including the rules of engagement in the military, the role of soldiers in making split-second decisions during combat, and the difficulties of balancing justice with the need for military order and discipline. The show features interviews with key players in the case on both sides of the issue, including Lorance's defense team, military prosecutors, and the soldiers who served with Lorance at the time of the incident.
One of the central themes of Leavenworth is the question of whether Lorance's actions were justified under the circumstances. While his supporters argue that he acted out of a sense of duty to protect his troops and to uphold his oath to defend the U.S. Constitution, his detractors insist that he disregarded the rules of engagement and put innocent civilians in harm's way. The show presents both sides of this argument in a fair and even-handed way, allowing viewers to come to their own conclusions.
Another important aspect of Leavenworth is the human toll that the case takes on Lorance, his family, and the soldiers who served with him. The show offers a moving portrait of Lorance as a dedicated and patriotic soldier who feels unjustly accused of a crime he did not commit. It also sheds light on the impact that prolonged court proceedings can have on soldiers who are trying to cope with the trauma of war.
In terms of its production values, Leavenworth is a top-notch documentary series that features stunning visuals and expertly crafted storytelling. The show draws on a wide range of archival footage, including footage shot by soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan, and seamlessly combines this material with interviews and dramatized re-creations of key moments in the case. Director Soderbergh's signature style is evident throughout the series, which is shot with a cinematic eye and a talent for creating tension and suspense.
Overall, Leavenworth is a thought-provoking and emotionally powerful true-crime series that offers a compelling exploration of the complexities of military justice and the human cost of war. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in true-crime stories, military history, or social justice issues.
Leavenworth is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (6 episodes). The series first aired on October 20, 2019.