Netflix has quite a number of true crime documentaries, in both feature and series form, but even in that crowded field, The Trials Of Gabriel Fernandez is likely to stand out.
Neither director Brian Knappenberger (The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story Of Aaron Swartz) nor any of his talking heads do any digging to find out who killed eight-year-old Gabrial Fernandez. That’s incredibly clear. What Knappenberger chronicles are the trials, plural, that address this heinous crime, first of his killers (his mother and her boyfriend), and then of a system that completely failed to stop his death.
The phrase “the system is on trial” is a bit of a cliché, but it seems appropriate here; you can judge for yourself when the series premieres on Netflix on February 26.