2019 Sundance Docs in Focus: LEAVING NEVERLAND

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

LEAVING NEVERLAND
Dan Reed presents an intimate profile of two of Michael Jackson’s alleged sexual abuse victims.

Festival Section:
Special Events

Sundance Program Description:

As one of the world’s most celebrated icons, Michael Jackson represents many things to many people – a pop star, a humanitarian, a beloved idol. When allegations of sexual abuse by Jackson involving young boys surfaced in 1993, many found it hard to believe that the King of Pop could be guilty of such unspeakable acts. In separate but parallel stories that echo one another, two boys were each befriended by Jackson, who invited them into his singular and wondrous world. Seduced by the singer’s fairy-tale existence and enthralled by their relationship with him, both boys’ families were blind to the manipulation and abuse that he would ultimately subject them to.

Through gut-wrenching interviews with the now-adult men and their families, LEAVING NEVERLAND crafts a portrait of sustained exploitation and deception, documenting the power of celebrity that allowed a revered figure to infiltrate the lives of starstruck children and their parents.

Some Background:
Director/Producer:

Coordinating Producer:

  • Marguerite Gaudin

    This is Gaudin’s first Sundance credit. She has been part of Reed’s production house, Amos Pictures for several years.

Executive Producers:

Editor:

  • Jules Cornell

    Cornell previously cut Reed’s TERROR IN MOSCOW.

Why You Should Watch:
Already generating controversy since its late announcement as part of the Sundance lineup, Reed’s project gives voice to James Safechuck and Wade Robson, Jackson’s alleged victims, and explores the impact of their accusations on both men, their families, and Jackson’s legacy. Reed’s two-part doc will be shown in full at the festival before being broadcast by HBO later this year.

More Info:
For Sundance screening dates and times, click the film title in the first paragraph.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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