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Uses emotional appeal when it should've been more factual
As some of the other reviews will unintentionally tell you, if you don't already feel sympathetic to registered sex offenders who are shunned by society, this documentary will do little to change any of that.
Sure, flashing children on the street is not the same as molesting your own child for years on end. They don't merit the same reaction from society - that is true.
But this documentary does nothing but present a narrative with which we aren't already familiar. Sex offenders were so often victims of trauma themselves, violence breeds violence, when in Rome, etc., etc. But child abuse is wrong!, etc., etc.
To make matters worse, the offenders didn't seem to care about the victims, they only wanted to protect their own reputation - leading me to ask the wrong questions, the ones the documentary wanted me to avoid. Like, what kind of therapy they were receiving? How can they move along without true regret? What exactly have they learned? The place was only run by other sex offenders, should they even be giving each other therapy?
What I really wanted from this documentary, was a more objective look at what happens to the offender ones they have served their time in prison. I wanted the documentary to tell us how poor - on average - their chances of living a normal life afterwards would be. Maybe compare this to what happens murderers, or drug dealers, etc., to present this as the complex moral issue it truly is.
Sure, we can torment the offenders 'till the day they die, but what good will it do? Is it really that reasonable to prevent these people from becoming contributing members of society? Isn't it a waste of human life, or just plain ressources, to let them be outcasts forever and ever?
I think so. This problem won't be solved by looking away, no problem ever will, no matter how ugly it is. I wish people would talk about pedophilia more often. I wish there were ressources for people who had these wrong thoughts, I wish they were allowed to talk about them - so we could prevent them from taking actions, so we could give them the mental strength to do right.
But the documentary made a bad case for this, focused on the wrong ways to emit sympathy, and a murky way of presenting facts. It didn't provoke the kind of rational thought that would counter the terrifying feeling of knowing, that you are looking at a room full of people who have probably raped someone. Quite a shame, really. This documentary gets 6 stars, primarily because it is one of the only ones of it's kind.
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