Leaving Neverland

Leaving Neverland: Michael Jackson and Me is a 2019 documentary film directed and produced by British filmmaker Dan Reed. It focuses on two men, Wade Robson and Jimmy Safechuck, who allege they were sexually abused by the pop star Michael Jackson as children. The film is a co-production between the UK broadcaster Channel 4 and the US broadcaster Home Box Office (HBO). After premiering at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2019, it is scheduled for broadcast in the US on March 3 and 4, 2019, and in the UK on March 6 and 7, 2019. On March 4, after the showing, HBO will broadcast "Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland".

Comments

Explanation

[You can read the original article here], Licensed under CC-BY-SA.

Leaving Neverland: Michael Jackson and Me
Directed byDan Reed
Produced byDan Reed
Starring
CinematographyDan Reed
Edited byJules Cornell
Production
company
Amos Pictures
Distributed by
Release date
  • January 25, 2019 (2019-01-25) (Sundance)
  • March 3, 2019 (2019-03-03) (United States)
  • March 6, 2019 (2019-03-06) (United Kingdom)
Running time
236 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
United Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

Leaving Neverland: Michael Jackson and Me is a 2019 documentary film directed and produced by British filmmaker Dan Reed. It focuses on two men, Wade Robson and Jimmy Safechuck, who allege they were sexually abused by the pop star Michael Jackson as children.

The film is a co-production between the UK broadcaster Channel 4 and the US broadcaster Home Box Office (HBO). After premiering at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2019, it is scheduled for broadcast in the US on March 3 and 4, 2019, and in the UK on March 6 and 7, 2019. On March 4, after the showing, HBO will broadcast "Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland".[2]

Synopsis

In interviews, Wade Robson and Jimmy Safechuck and their families describe their relationship with the American pop singer Michael Jackson. Safechuck and Robson allege that Jackson sexually abused them at his home, Neverland Ranch, in California.[3]

Cast

Background

In 1993, Jackson was accused of sexually molesting 13-year-old Jordan Chandler. He denied the claims and settled the civil case out of court. No criminal charges were filed.[4] In 2005, following further allegations, Jackson was acquitted of child sexual abuse.[4] Robson and Safechuck had previously denied being molested by Jackson.[5]

Response

In January 2019, the Jackson estate issued a press release condemning the film, saying "The two accusers testified under oath that these events never occurred. They have provided no independent evidence and absolutely no proof in support of their accusations."[6] Despite protests by Jackson fans, the Sundance Film Festival issued a statement to its corporate sponsors that it would not withdraw the film.[7] Reed said: "I believe anyone who watches this film will see and feel the emotional toll on the men and their families."[8] Robson and Safechuck attended the Sundance premiere, where the audience gave them a standing ovation. Both said they had received death threats from Jackson fans.[9]

HBO cannot be sued for defamation, as Jackson is dead. However, in February 2019 the Jackson estate petitioned a law court to compel HBO to cooperate in arbitration regarding its plan to broadcast the film, allegedly violating a 1992 agreement to broadcast Michael Jackson in Concert in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour, when HBO agreed not to "make any disparaging remarks concerning Performer or any of his representatives, agents, or business practices or do any act that may harm or disparage or cause to lower in esteem the reputation or public image of Performer".[10]

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, Leaving Neverland holds an approval rating of 85% based on 13 reviews, with an average score of 6.85/10. Its consensus states: "Crucial and careful, Leaving Neverland gives empathetic breadth and depth to the complicated afterlife of child sexual abuse as experienced by adult survivors."[11]

In Entertainment Weekly, Kristen Baldwin gave the film a B grade. She criticized it as "woefully one-sided" and concluded: "As a documentary, Leaving Neverland is a failure. As a reckoning, though, it is unforgettable."[12] In The Hollywood Reporter, Daniel Fienberg wrote that Leaving Neverland "is nearly as much about the 20+ years during which Robson and Safechuck held onto secrets or even lied and covered up the truth — and the damage that can do — as it is about the alleged crimes themselves." He concluded that "it's doubtful you'll feel exactly the same after watching".[13] The Daily Telegraph awarded it five out of five, describing it as "a horrifying picture of child abuse".[14]

David Fear wrote in Rolling Stone: "By offering these men a forum, this doc has clearly chosen a side. Yet the thoroughness with which it details this history of allegations, and the way it personalizes them to a startling degree, is hard to shake off."[15] IndieWire's David Ehrlich wrote that the film was "dry" and "hardly great cinema", but that it was "a crucial document for a culture that still can't see itself clearly in Michael Jackson's shadow".[16]

Further reading

  • Weingarten, Christopher R. (January 31, 2019). "Why Is Everyone Talking About 'Leaving Neverland' and Michael Jackson?". New York Times.
  • Sisario, Ben (January 31, 2019). "What We Know About Michael Jackson's History of Sexual Abuse Accusations". New York Times.
  • Wilkinson, Alissa (February 27, 2019). "Leaving Neverland makes a devastating case against Michael Jackson". Vox. Jackson's side of the story was accepted as fact for decades. Leaving Neverland is the other side.
  • Stuever, Hank (February 28, 2019). "A devastating and credible 'Leaving Neverland' will turn you off Michael Jackson for good". Washington Post.
  • Morris, Wesley (February 28, 2019). "Michael Jackson Cast a Spell. 'Leaving Neverland' Breaks It". New York Times.

References

  1. "Leaving Neverland". Sundance Film Festival. Sundance Institute. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  2. Blake, Meredith (March 1, 2019). "Oprah Winfrey's intense interview with Michael Jackson accusers from 'Leaving Neverland'". Los Angeles Times.
  3. Mitchell, Robert (January 17, 2019). "Kew Media Boards Michael Jackson Documentary 'Leaving Neverland' for International". Variety. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  4. 1 2 McDonell-Parry, Amelia; McDonell-Parry, Amelia (2019-01-29). "Michael Jackson Child Sexual Abuse Allegations: A Timeline". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  5. February 26, Jessica Kegu CBS News; 2019; Am, 11:20. ""Leaving Neverland" director says Michael Jackson's views are "strongly represented" in explosive documentary". www.cbsnews.com.
  6. Donnelly, Matt; Halperin, Shirley (January 25, 2019). "Michael Jackson Estate Addresses Controversial 'Leaving Neverland' Doc". Variety.
  7. Sharf, Zack (January 15, 2019). "Sundance Will Not Pull Michael Jackson Child Abuse Doc 'Leaving Neverland' Amid Fan Protests". IndieWire. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  8. Kreps, Daniel (January 9, 2019). "Documentary Accusing Michael Jackson of Sexually Abusing Boys to Premiere at Sundance". Rolling Stone.
  9. Lee, Benjamin (January 25, 2019). "'Secrets will eat you up' – inside the shocking Michael Jackson documentary". The Guardian.
  10. Martinelli, Marissa (2019-02-21). "Michael Jackson's Estate Is Suing HBO Over Leaving Neverland". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  11. "Leaving Neverland (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  12. "Leaving Neverland is brutal, powerful, and flawed: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  13. "'Leaving Neverland': TV Review | Sundance 2019". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  14. Mulkerrins, Jane (January 26, 2019). "Leaving Neverland, review: Michael Jackson 'victims' paint horrifying picture of child abuse". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  15. Fear, David; Fear, David (January 26, 2019). "'Leaving Neverland': Sundance's Michael Jackson Doc Leaves Audience Shellshocked". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  16. Ehrlich, David; Ehrlich, David (January 25, 2019). "'Leaving Neverland' Review: Devastating Four-Hour Doc Proves Michael Jackson Sexually Abused Children". IndieWire. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
Read all..