There was no gaza at demonstrators outside the Egyptian theater in Park City, Utah, early in the morning, despite media reports that Sundance was told to prevent a massive disruption of the main street. But policemen patrolled the area with sniffing dogs three times the usual safety of typical screening and, according to festival director John Cooper, "health workers in the foyer" in case someone interferes with the material needed for a conversation with someone right away.
Warning to the packed house was justified: Leaving Neverland, Dan Reid's two-hour, four-hour documentary focusing on two men who claimed that Michael Jackson abused them as children opened with a "graphic" description of sexual acts involving minors. And after hearing these subjects are retold in terrible details that say they were held in various hotels, houses and the ranch of Neverland Ranch, it's hard not to feel that you have experienced a post-traumatic stress disorder. During the 10-minute intervention, members of the audience appeared somewhat confused. By the end of the screening, the crowd seemed completely protruding.
Centered primarily about detailed camera interviews conducted by Wade Robson and James Saffihuk – with additional testimonies from members of their families and spouses – Neverland begins with two men who remember their first encounters with the King of Pop. For Robson, an Australian child who fell in love with the singer after his mother Joy brought home "Making Thriller"The video, listening to Jackson's music for the first time, led to an obsessive study of the artist's moves; after receiving the first prize at Jackson's dancing competition at the mall, he got the chance to meet with the man himself during a concert tour in Brisbane, in the end, he was pulled out of the stage to perform his moves for the crowd and spent time with the pop star in his hotel before leaving Jackson. If you're ever in America, Jackson tells the Robson family, they look at me. That will eventually led to joy, Wade and his sister will be invited to spend the time at the ranch later.At that time, the child chewed her hair and took her to wear carbonic samples of Jackson's clothes.He was seven years old.
As for Safechuck, a commercial pepsi gig – in which he covers up in the dressing room of Jackson, trying on the singer's sunglasses until the man himself appears-brought him into the singer's orbit. Unlike Robson, he was not a superfan; like Robson, he was immediately in love with the pop star, paying attention to him and making him feel "important". Jackson also made friends with his family, often having evening and movie nights at Saffiuk's house in Simi Valley, California. He flies to Hawaii's family during a Pepsi convention and calls on the boy to sleep in his hotel room. On the flight back, one can hear singer flattering James at an unusual level. Jackson raises the family of his property to Neverland, eventually persuading Sapphucus to let James alone stay with the singer. He was 10 years old.
Neverland continues to cut between these two stories, as men begin to remember how the singer will reportedly initiate physical contact during "bridging" and "escalating" things from there. Stories suggest a similar pattern of playing children, followed by claims of grooming, mutual masturbation, further sexual harassment, and long lectures by Jackson about how you really do not trust your parents and you definitely can not trust women. Gifts, trips and other high kisses are fond of family members, but the mothers of both boys remember how they will be permanently separated from their sons whenever a chance occurs. Safechuck remembers Neverland's ranch is set up with a series of packed bedrooms and secret spaces where these alleged sexual activities could happen without people they know. Robson, whom Jackson calls the "Little", describes the "secret wedding" between the two.
Both remember how, according to Robson, "in the context of what was happening, it all seemed normal"; how was this told unto you, as thou hast shown the one whom thou desiredst? as they can never tell anyone, because they and Jackson will be thrown into jail; and how everyone became jealous when other boys replaced them as objects of affection.
The second half of the document then begins with the case in 1993 against Jackson of 13-year-old Jordan Chandler, who claimed that the singer was abusing him when he stayed at the ranch, and why Safechuck, Robson and their families felt forced to testify on his behalf. While further claims prompted a criminal trial, Saffihuk told his mother that Jackson was "not a good man" and asked them to refrain from assisting the defense.
Robson, however, is not; one of the NeverlandThe most beautiful sections are now found by the successful choreographer and HNS co-worker / Britney Spears worried that his career could be broken, Michael's children will never see his father anymore and that he feels it is necessary to protect Jackson – all this despite the fact that he claims to have happened to him. After Jackson's death in 2009, they both married and became fathers; they also find that they can not sleep at night and suffer from various PTSD symptoms. They eventually begin to refer to what has happened to them as abuse. Things get worse before they get better. (Both Robson and Safechuck admit they initially denied the allegations because they said they should divide the alleged abuse.)
As the loans rallied, the energy in the room floated somewhere between the motives of what we just saw, and the feeling that some sort of milestone about how these allegations were played in Jackson's legacy was achieved. Offering these people a forum, this document clearly selected the page. However, the thoroughness that describes this history of accusations and the way it personalizes to a surprising extent is difficult to resist. It does not diminish what these people say, nor does it leave the fact that recent lawsuits are plunging into the waters.
But the film shows how much psychological scars are left by sexual abuse, and the glory can be seductive enough to endanger the moral compass (especially in relation to parents) and how it can be complicated when you want someone who can hurt you. It is also a portrait of a person who has many things for many people, and how that picture may not be synchronized with what some people want to believe.
And this is a portrait of courage, as evidenced by the fact that when Reed brought Robson and Safif to the stage after the film, the three men received a long standing ovation. The two men say that "what happened happened," and that they can no longer face Jackson about it or close. They both say that they are still in the process of healing, both of them say they want to do it, so that if someone else copes with the consequences of the abuse, they could come out. (A member of the audience acknowledged as a child for his ill-treatment and thanked him for making the film, and another mentioned that, as an attorney dealing with many cases of sexual abuse, this could help change the law regarding such criminal affairs.)
When people jumped onto the main street just before 1 pm, they hailed from several people who held several signs "Michael = Neviny", it was hard to feel different for the man in the center of the film. It was hard not to feel like firing a bomb.