Continued from page 1

“We’re happy that the men are out of prison,” he said, “but it is a bittersweet ending.”

The film is set to air on HBO in January.

Celebrities such as musicians Eddie Vedder, of Pearl Jam, and Natalie Maines, of the Dixie Chicks, had campaigned for the release of the West Memphis Three, but Monday’s screenings still had to seem like culture shock to them. They talked in an auditorium at HBO’s headquarters while network employees applauded them and were served a catered lunch after the event.

As teenagers, the boys were said to be involved in a satanic cult, and part of the case against them in public opinion was Echols‘ penchant to dress in black clothes. He wore a black shirt, black pants and dark sunglasses to Monday’s news conference.

Still, he said, it was difficult to talk about the case. Misskelley, appearing agitated, left the news conference only a few minutes after it started.

“This case has already eaten up 20 years of our lives,” Echols said. “It is not easy to keep reliving it. It’s a continuing violation, in a way. At the same time, I don’t want the case to be forgotten.”