Jerry Sanders

'77 Minutes' is a gritty immersion into grim criminal territory

'77 Minutes' is a gritty immersion into grim criminal territory

The 1984 massacre at a McDonald’s in San Ysidro, Calif., in which a gunman killed 21 people and wounded 19 others, is revisited in the tough and emotional, if slightly overlong, documentary “77 Minutes.” 

Although this horrific event, then the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, may seem a bit like yesterday’s news, there’s a chilling timeliness to the shooter’s purported anti-immigrant sentiments that, some think, may have fueled his attack. (San Ysidro sits just north of the U.S.-Mexico border.)

But director Charlie Minn purposely avoids much talk of the gunman or his motives, unwilling to even mention him by name (it was James...

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