Karma Killings

Indian American filmmaker Ram Devineni attempts to open the layers of human cruelty in the crime documentary, “The Karma Killings,” which is based on the infamous Nithari serial murders in India. The film will premiere on Netflix Jan. 12, 2017. (Ram Devineni/Facebook photo)

“The Karma Killings,” a true crime documentary by Indian American filmmaker Ram Devineni, which delves into the infamous Nithari serial murders that shocked India, will premiere exclusively to Netflix members worldwide Jan. 12, 2017, and will also be released on multiple digital platforms.

“The Karma Killings,” according to the official synopsis, is a modern-day crime thriller mixed with Indian mythology and class warfare.

A backgrounder on the shocking murders: Over a span of two years, from 2005-2006, dozens of children went missing on a 100-meter stretch of road in an inconspicuous neighborhood in Noida — a suburb of New Delhi.

In a plain ordinary house where, unknown to everyone, unimaginable acts of violence and gruesome murders were taking place. This nightmare gripped dozens of poor families when their children went missing and began their long ordeal to capture and bring to trial the two serial killers living in their own neighborhood. When eventually a small-town beat cop breaks the case, both culprits were found guilty and sentenced to death under sensational media coverage and pressure from the government to instill swift justice, addressing a large social and cultural change happening in India.

Startled by the sensational news coverage in 2006, Devineni spent several years immersed in the investigation and living near the house where all the gruesome cannibal murders happened.

With unprecedented access to everyone involved, the film claims to unravel the complexities of the case and the unusual relationship between a master, businessman Moninder Singh Pandher, and his servant, Surender Koli.

The film follows Pandher’s son, Karin, and his eight-year-long ordeal fighting for his father’s life. Opposing him are the poor disenfranchised families of the victims who suffer through all the twists and turns to get the ultimate justice – with Pandher being hanged.

The film takes viewers inside a riveting, high-stakes criminal case where everything is not as it appears, claims Devineni, who produced “The Russian Woodpecker,” which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. He said he has documented every angle of the story, saying: “I went into this thinking both were totally guilty, but now I am not sure. This is truly a surreal story.”

Watch the trailer of “The Karma Killings” here:

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