Ice Cold: Murder, Coffee, and Jessica Wongso sees various subjects revisit the trial of a girl charged with killing her best friend by poisoning. The investigative documentary is currently streaming on Netflix.
Ice Cold: Murder, Coffee, and Jessica Wongso take viewers to revisit Indonesia’s “Trial of the Century” which saw Jessica Kumala Wongso charged with the murder of her best friend Mirna Salihin.
It all started when Mirna started convulsing after drinking her coffee at a café. The autopsy report found cyanide inside her and it gave way to a trial as Jessica became the prime suspect in the investigation.
The trial began and was the first one in Indonesia to be published nationwide and it quickly began to blitz past TV serials in terms of viewership. As the trial continued, it became more sensational and Wongso’s public image was overwhelmingly negative.
Meanwhile, the defense tried their best with new evidence and highlighted the anomalies and absence of evidence on the prosecution’s part.
However, the trial ended with Wongso getting sentenced to twenty years in prison, with the defense announcing to appeal it, with no success being found on that front.
Netflix tries to interview Jessica in the prison but it is shortly cut short and not allowed to be conducted henceforth. Her diary which she hands to her lawyers, is explored as Ice Cold: Murder, Coffee, and Jessica Wongso concludes.
The documentary manages to be quite compelling, especially in how it presents and highlights the frustrating aspects of the trial in question.
Throughout the documentary, the Indonesian criminal justice system emerges as this defunct institution that is prone to an imbalance of power between the police and the lawyers.
One other surprising part about the whole affair that the documentary makers manage to catch is the suspicious fashion in which Jessica’s interview at the prison
For a trial that sensationalized as much as it was, the documentary does a poor job of making itself less sensational.
There is little to no point in making grim matters of crime and that involve a lot at stake to be slick or dramatized.
While Ice Cold stays away from a wholly kitschy presentation, it still includes coffee animations as background for text message snippets and contents of Wongso’s letter.
Ice Cold: Murder, Coffee, and Jessica Wongso is a provoking look at a trial that ended up on the list of sensational media trials where truth and justice are obscured and suffocated by an avalanche of eyes and voices.
It’s also rather brief and instead of meditative and exploratory, it’s meandering and stylized. These reasons prevent it from setting itself completely apart from the pile of true crime documentaries that are dime a dozen.
Ice Cold: Murder, Coffee, and Jessica Wongso
Director: Rob Sixsmith
Date Created: 2023-09-28 12:30