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Indictment: The McMartin Trial (1995) (TV)

Director:
Mick Jackson
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Drama
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Mistenkt
RUNNING TIME
135 minutes
Producer:
Diana Pokomy
Screenwriter:
Abby Mann
Myra Mann


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Danny Davis James Woods
Lael Rubin Mercedes Ruehl
Kee MacFarlane Lolita Davidovitch
Ray Buckey Henry Thomas
Virginia McMartin Sada Thompson
Peggy Buckey Shirley Knight
Judge Pounders James Cromwell

 

Review

During the 1980s to early 1990s, there was an epidemic of false or exaggerated sexual abuse cases from preschools and day care centers around the world, including one highly publicized and scandalous case from the town of Bjugn in my own country Norway. What all these cases had in common was that a comment, story or allegation by a child was spun into increasingly more serious and outlandish stories of rape, satanic rituals and fantastical events through interview sessions with various child therapists and/or social workers who used what has later been exposed as highly questionable and suggestive interviewing techniques. The McMartin case was one of the most publicized of these cases in the United States, and this made-for-television movie from 1995 set out to shed light on this hysteria that destroyed the lives of so many, both children and falsely accused adults. It's a well-made and serious drama that manages to stay fairly neutral, even if there's little doubt as to the filmmakers' position. James Woods gives a solid performance as the defense lawyer who takes the McMartin family's case, and just like the filmmakers, his character is out to prove that it was mass-hysteria and systemic problems that led to these tragic results, not necessarily the wrongful doings of indiviuals. Simmering performances from Lolita Davidovitch and Henry Thomas on each side of the pendulum energize this thoughtprovoking and ahead-of-its-time TV drama.

Copyright 11.12.2016 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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