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I admit, I didn't really follow the whole R Kelly situation too closely over the years and since it's been going on for so long with him being cleared in 2008, I was largely ignorant about the details and boy, is this the right thing to watch to clear things up!
Surviving R. Kelly is a riveting documentary that displays facts and offers both sides of the equation without trying to manipulate viewers, interviewing many of the abused girls, women and their families while exposing a plethora of testimonies and video footage showing concerned parents trying to rescue their daughters. It is viscerally powerful and really shows the viewers the whole history of this ongoing tragedy.
I can't review this without making a connection with Leaving Neverland. Michael Jackson was proven innocent in a court of law because they didn't have any true evidence nor testimonies strong enough to declare him guilty while the R Kelly case is quite different in that he was cleared of all charges not because of a lack of proof but mostly because of several technicalities.
But the most striking thing is that a court of law would find this man innocent even with the actual infamous sex tape being shown in court! I was absolutely disgusted that anything like this could ever happen since the evidence against him was so strong then and is even stronger now.
Leaving Neverland is a manipulative piece of propaganda aimed at desecrating the memory of Jackson while trying to extort money from the family. It only feature two "survivors" who previously declared under oath that Michael never touched them only to change their stories 10 years after the man is dead and therefore no threat to anyone even if he had been a predator which I truly feel he never was.
Surviving R. Kelly on the other hand is a very well done expose on a man who has consistently displayed questionable and perverse behavior for decades with a very impressive amount of evidence and who is still running around doing the exact same thing he's been getting away with for such a long time. Therefore the man is still a threat and very dangerous.
It presents to the viewer an impartial and fair format showing facts, testimonies, evidence and a narrative that always tries to remain connected to exposing the truth. At no point did I ever get the impression that I was manipulated or fed lies unlike Leaving Neverland which doesn't offer one shred of evidence and only relies on emotional testimonies which in themselves can't prove anything.
If Surviving R. Kelly only relied on the interviews it wouldn't have been as powerful and efficient in exposing the monster in him. But it gives us so much more and I was absolutely transfixed as I couldn't believe how long Kelly has been getting away with so much abuse and very disturbing behavior.
I highly recommend this to everyone. And even if like me, you've never been affected by this horrible abuse or don't know anyone personally who has been going through this, I feel like everyone must watch to really understand just how devastating this can be to anyone who has the misfortune to be in the path of a predator.
And I can safely say that after watching every minute of this riveting series, I am truly convinced that R Kelly deserves to be in jail for the rest of his life. Let's just hope that justice will finally prevail and that all his victim will finally get some peace and closure to soothe their battered psyches.
I must say this is how a true documentary must be done and it deserves 10 stars in my book.
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