STATE OF ALABAMA VS. BRITTANY SMITH on Netflix is a new true crime documentary short. With a runtime of just 40 minutes, it covers the complete case. Read our full State of Alabama vs. Brittany Smith documentary review here!

STATE OF ALABAMA VS. BRITTANY SMITH on Netflix is a new documentary short with a fascinating (and scary) true crime case. From beginning to end, the true story is told during an efficient runtime of just 40 minutes.

And yes, there is a conclusion to this true crime documentary. So don’t think the shorter runtime means you’ll be left hanging with a case that is still active.

Continue reading our State of Alabama vs. Brittany Smith documentary review below. You can find it on Netflix from November 10, 2022.

A law for white men

State of Alabama vs. Brittany Smith is a one-woman story. However, the documentary short is essentially about all the countless women in prison for killing their rapists or abusers. To highlight this issue, this documentary focuses on the experience of one woman.

She’s on trial for murder and wants to use the “Stand your ground” law since it was self-defense. Unfortunately, this law seems to only apply to white men.

Women and minorities aren’t given the same rights when it comes to defending themselves in the state of Alabama.

State of Alabama vs Brittany Smith – Review | Netflix Documentary

Interviews with people involved

Brittany Smith is just one woman. However, the picture painted in State of Alabama vs. Brittany Smith is ultimately a closer examination of gender, the American South, domestic and sexual violence, and – ultimately, most importantly – the failures of the criminal justice system.

During this documentary short, we hear from Brittany herself, her mother, and her brother, as well as the cousin of the man, Brittany Smith shot in self-defense. Also interviewed are a journalist, an investigator, and the defense attorney for Brittany.

Basically, all bases are well covered while also talking to other people from this area; All of whom are quick to state that the police never really help women or any minority people. Instead, they tend to side with the white man. A fact even white men from the area confirm!

Watch State of Alabama vs. Brittany Smith on Netflix now!

Ryan White is the documentary filmmaker behind State of Alabama vs. Brittany Smith. He’s already an award-winning director of documentary films and series, so he knows how to tell these stories.

The previous documentary short film from Ryan White was titled Coded (2021). It won the best documentary short at the Tribeca Film Festival. Other documentaries from him include the Emmy Award-nominated The Keepers and The Case Against 8.


Check out the true-crime documentary series The Keepers >

As mentioned earlier, this is exactly why the short runtime of 40 minutes is simply perfect. Instead of dragging out the story with irrelevant points that weaken the main story, it’s a tightly told true story. And a scary one at that, when we get to some of the statistics before the end credits.

State of Alabama vs. Brittany Smith is on Netflix from November 10, 2022.


This documentary tells the harrowing story of a woman trying to use Alabama’s Stand Your Ground law after killing a man she says brutally attacked her.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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