Oct 15, 2019

Michael Jackson Documentary 'Leaving Neverland'

Leaving Neverland is a two-part documentary exploring the separate but parallel experiences of two young boys, James Safechuck, at age 10, and Wade Robson, at age 7, both of whom were befriended by Michael Jackson.
Through gut-wrenching interviews with Safechuck, now 40, and Robson, now 36, as well as their mothers, wives and siblings, the film crafts a portrait of sustained abuse, exploring the complicated feelings that led both men to confront their experiences after both had a young son of his own.
Produced and directed by Dan Reed (HBO’s Emmy-nominated Three Days of Terror: The Charlie Hebdo Attacks and Terror at the Mall), the documentary recently had its world premiere in the Special Events section at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
Leaving Neverland was produced and directed by Dan Reed; film editor, Jules Cornell; assistant producer, Marguerite Gaudin; cinematographer, Dan Reed; composer, Chad Hobson; music producer, Steve McLaughlin. For HBO Documentary Films: executive producers, Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller. For Channel 4: commissioning editors, Daniel Pearl, Tom Porter and Dorothy Byrne.

What’s the plot of Leaving Neverland?

Warning: this article contains graphic content
In a synopsis for the documentary, British filmmaker Dan Reed says that “through gut-wrenching interviews with the now-adult men and their families, Leaving Neverland crafts a portrait of sustained exploitation and deception.”
In 1993, Jackson was first accused of sexual abuse by the family of 13-year-old Jordy Chandler. The case was settled outside of court, and no criminal charges were filed.
A decade later, in 2005, he was found Not Guilty by a jury in regards to allegations of sexual abuse of another 13-year-old, Gavin Arvizo.
The documentary features sexual abuse allegations against Jackson from Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who are both now in their 30s. They both make separate claims that the star molested them when they were children in the 1990s.
Wade Robson, a witness for Jackson in the 2005 child abuse trial in which the singer was acquitted, now claims that he lied under oath and that after two “nervous breakdowns” and the birth of his child, he decided to open up to his therapist.
“It was just pain and disgust and anger, the idea something like that could happen to my son,” Robson says. In 2013, he filed a lawsuit against Jackson’s estate, but a court dismissed the claim, saying he’d waited too long to file the complaint.
In the documentary, Robson claims that the abuse started when he was seven years old, two years after he first met Jackson. He goes on to allege that Michael Jackson attempted to anally penetrate him when he was 14-year-old. Robson then says that Jackson ordered him to throw away his “bloody” underwear.
James Safechuck, meanwhile, says that Jackson bought him several pieces of jewellery as a child – an interest of his – and even conducted a “mock wedding” ceremony between the pair. He also alleges that there were several rooms in Jackson’s Neverland ranch that were used to molest him, including “locked” boxes which featured one-way glass. Safechuck also alleges that the pair practiced several “drills” to redress quickly in case interrupted.


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