Redemptive Documentaries

By David Lamble
The Bay Area Reporter

Excerpt: "Unseen" - Laura Paglin presents a real-life horror story that will stay with you. Unfolding in a Cleveland, Ohio hood that appears to have been ground central for the crack cocaine epidemic, the story features a villain right out of central casting, a drug-dealer/pimp who lures 11 African American women to a house in a slum where he tortures and murders them...


By Molly Laich
Missoula Independent

In 2009, serial killer Anthony Edward Sowell was finally arrested on rape, kidnapping and murder charges after 11 unidentified bodies were found in his decrepit home in Cleveland's Mount Pleasant neighborhood. Rather than dwelling on Sowell, Laura Paglin's film instead focuses on interviews with his victims, all of them poor, black women who were lured in with promises of drugs...

How a Serial Killer Brutalized Marginalized Women

By Seth Ferranti, Contributor
Huffington Post

For two years numerous women went missing in Cleveland’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood. But nobody really cared because these woman were junkies and prostitutes and crack heads, marginalized women in poverty-stricken areas where people tended to keep to themselves. Finally a reported rape leads police to a house of horrors...

A True Crime Film Festival in NYC—Sort Of

By Henry Stewart
Brooklyn Magazine

Excerpt: …Unseen inspires the opposite emotion. (Not even German has the word.) If The Promise exposes problems in Virginia’s justice system, Unseen (Nov. 11, 9:45pm, Cinepolis Chelsea) tears Cleveland’s apart...

Unseen (2016) Portland 2016

By Steve Kopian

Anthony Sowell was convicted of the rape of Melvette Sockwell in 1989 and went to jail for 15 years. In 2009 the bodies of 11 people were discovered in and around his home in the Cleveland neighborhood of Mt Pleasant. The women had disappeared over a three year period, however the police never investigated the cases of the missing women until the bodies turned up...

Unseen sets the record straight about Mount Pleasant killer

By Carlo Wolff | Staff Reporter
Cleveland Jewish News

Cleveland Heights filmmaker Laura Paglin goes deep and disturbing in “Unseen,” her powerful documentary about Anthony Sowell. Interweaving interviews with survivors of the Mount Pleasant killer and archival and contemporary footage, she paints a harrowing picture of a Cleveland neighborhood that poverty has rotted to the core...

The 'Unseen' Victims Of Cleveland Serial Killer Anthony Sowell

By David C. Barnett
Senior Arts Reporter for WCPN

Convicted Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell was back in court today to appeal his 2011 death sentence for the murders of 11 women over a three-year period. A new documentary about those crimes, called “Unseen”, had its debut at the Cleveland International Film Festival, this past weekend. It tells the stories of Sowell’s victims. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, David C. Barnett of WCPN takes a closer look at the lives of a vulnerable population...

UNSEEN Discussed

PBS | Sound of Ideas

On PBS’s Sound of Ideas, hosts discuss the strong reaction to UNSEEN at the Cleveland International Film Festival...

Cleveland International Film Festival 2016: 'Unseen' is a moving, brutal tale of loss and survival

By Andrea Simakis
The Plain Dealer

Ironically, the most memorable moments in "Unseen," a documentary about the Anthony Sowell killings, aren't the lurid details of his unspeakable crimes. In 2009, police uncovered 11 bodies in and around Sowell's property at 12205 Imperial Ave. in Cleveland's Mount Pleasant neighborhood.

It's the stuff of horror movies to be sure. But that doesn't compare to the riveting, direct testimony of women who made it out alive - among them Vanessa Gay, who staggered, limping and bloody, out onto Imperial Avenue one Sunday morning...

In new documentary, victims and survivors of serial killer Anthony Sowell are no longer ‘unseen’: Cleveland International Film Festival, 2016

By Andrea Simakis
The Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio - In the documentary "Unseen," directed by Laura Paglin, the title emerges from wisps of smoke - no doubt, we are to imagine, from a crack pipe.

Crack cocaine, after all, was the drug that swept through the Mount Pleasant neighborhood where serial killer and rapist Anthony Sowell hunted for his victims, laying waste to whole families.

"It was like Hurricane Katrina," says Vanessa Gay to Paglin's camera. She's one of the few women who met the ex-Marine and lived.

"It came though and ravaged my whole life."

As Gay tells it, it was her addiction to that drug that brought her to Sowell's door at 12205 Imperial Ave., a bland white duplex that no one realized was the source of the sickening stench that dominated the area for years, baffling health inspectors and residents alike...