A look at how chemical castration could stop sex offenders from re-offending.

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A look at how chemical castration could stop sex offenders from re-offending.

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5 July 2007 (UK)  »

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No answers or proof of anything but the view of the subject is balanced and food for thought
13 August 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Paedophilia is a big subject in the UK and it is hard to find anyone who is kind of unsure of their opinions on the subject and you get surprisingly few people who will have moderate or uncertain opinions. Far too often the reaction of the "man in the street" is red top stuff like "hangings too good for 'em" and "think of the children". Obviously execution is not an option and likewise just holding people until they die in jail is not a wholesale option (ignoring the human rights issue). In this film David Russell goes to North America to look at the role that chemical and surgical castration has in the control (or cure).

The title does indeed suggest that this film is about castration as a cure for paedophiles and I suppose to a point it is. In this regard there is discussion over the process and a few examples of those who have taken one of those options and we end with a note that the Home Office is planning to offer it as an option to those in the UK. However there isn't a heart of "proof" or otherwise to the subject. What the film actually does better is to simply act as food for thought on the subject of paedophilia and how a society that is repulsed by the crime and criminal can ever really accept one into a community.

To say I enjoyed this aspect would be using the wrong word, but I did find that the approach made me think about the wider questions and I appreciated that because it is rare that contemplation or even debate on this subject makes it to the mainstream media – never mind the tabloids. Russell puts the film together pretty well but even with a good form given it by editor Duthy, it does still seem quite lose and shapeless at times. Fortunately, for me, the thought-provoking nature of the material meant that a lot of the work was done in my head to cover it for it.

Not a brilliant documentary on the effectiveness of this "cure" for paedophilia but in how it looks at the subject it does provide no easy answers and lets the viewer think through the questions themselves. Although, having said that, those that want to "kill them all" and join local mobs to chase them down will find nothing of value here – but that is their fault, not the film's.


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