Netflix's When They See Us is totally harrowing, and an absolute must watch 6 months ago

Netflix's When They See Us is totally harrowing, and an absolute must watch

Over the weekend, Netflix dropped an absolutely crucial watch.

When They See Us is a four part series detailing the true story of the wrongly convicted Central Park Five.

Back in 1989, five black teenagers from Harlem - Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise - were convicted of a gang rape they didn't commit.

The incident had occurred in New York's Central Park and involved a woman who was jogging on the April night.

The teenagers were each questioned about the attack and eventually coerced into confessions that led to their eventual incarcerations. They all spent between six and 13 years in prison.

when they see us

The five were exonerated in 2002, reaching a settlement with the city of New York over a decade later.

During that time - and in the years that followed - the tensions around the mass incarceration of America's black population began to rise.

As did the knowledge that the media had to do better when it came to the depiction of black people, both in the news and in popular culture.

Co-written and directed by Ava DuVernay, When They See Us, is a stunning, thought-provoking and breathtakingly important piece of work about double standards, an ever-flawed justice system, and a decision that led to five young people losing a large portion of their lives for no reason at all.

The series has already achieved much critical acclaim cementing it as an absolute must watch for Netflix viewers - and beyond.

Here's what some of the critics are saying:

"In rendering their journeys, DuVernay pays careful attention to the terrifying power of language, especially the animalistic rhetoric with which prosecutors and journalists referred to the teens." - The Atlantic.

"[Ava] DuVernay's direction and writing is clear-eyed and focused, and puts a heavy emphasis on what the boys and their families lost over their decades-long ordeal." - The Observer.

"The emotional weight of Duvernay's respect for the physical and emotional facts settled slowly in your stomach." - The Daily Telegraph.

"Not only is it compelling, but it's desperately needed." - Vox.

When They See Us is streaming on Netflix now.

You can check out the trailer here: