Documentaries, Films, & Programs

 

Leaving Neverland / 2019 / HBO

Leaving Neverland explores the separate but parallel experiences of two young boys, James Safechuck, at age 10, and Wade Robson, at age 7, both of whom were befriended by Michael Jackson.

Through gut-wrenching interviews with Safechuck, now 40, and Robson, now 36, as well as their mothers, wives, and siblings, the film crafts a portrait of sustained abuse, exploring the complicated feelings that led both men to confront their experiences after both had a young son of his own.

Surviving R Kelly / 2019 / Lifetime, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu

This documentary series reveals young women emerging from the shadows and uniting their voices against singer R. Kelly. Celebrated as one of the greatest R&B singers of all time, R. Kelly's career has been plagued with rumors of abuse, pedophilia, and predatory behavior toward women. Now, survivors are stepping forward to detail new allegations about his physical, mental, and sexual abuse. More than 50 interviews with those who include civil rights activist Tarana Burke, musicians John Legend and Sparkle, talk show host Wendy Williams, and R. Kelly's family members shed light on the singer's controversial past.

At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal / 2019 / HBO

For more than two decades Dr. Larry Nassar was the osteopathic physician for the U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team, as well as a physician at Michigan State University (MSU). During that time, he sexually abused hundreds of female athletes.

Featuring brave testimonials from the athletes at the center of the story, director Erin Lee Carr’s powerful documentary reveals a dangerous system that prioritized winning over everything else, including protecting young female athletes.

Abducted in Plain Sight / 2017 / Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube, GooglePlay, Vudu

In this true crime documentary, a family falls prey to the manipulative charms of a neighbor, who abducts their adolescent daughter. Twice.

The Tale / 2019 / HBO, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu

Director Jennifer Fox chronicles her story of childhood abuse at the hands of a high-school coach in this powerful, devastating film. Laura Dern stars as the adult Jennifer who finds herself prompted to reconcile her memories of the situation with the horrifying reality.

The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann / 2019 / Netflix

The documentary takes a detailed look at the 2007 disappearance of 3-year-old Madeleine McCann, who vanished while on holiday with her family. 

The film advances the theory that Madeleine was abducted and potentially sold into a trafficking ring. Though it’s a disturbing idea, it’s one whose credibility is bolstered by the fact that Madeleine’s body was never found and there is scant evidence pointing elsewhere.

Smart Justice: The Jayme Closs Case / 2019 / Lifetime

This is the incredible survival story that riveted the nation. Thirteen-year-old Jayme Closs, kidnapped from her home in Wisconsin, after watching her mother and father murdered before her eyes. After 88 days in captivity, which began in October 2018, Jayme managed to break free, run for help, and was ultimately rescued. The special is hosted by famed survivor Elizabeth Smart, who was held captive for nine months at the age of 14 until rescued by authorities. Now an activist and advocate for missing persons, Smart leads a roundtable of women who know Jayme’s nightmare all too well, including, Gina DeJesus, Katie Beers, Kara Robinson, Alicia Kozakiewicz, Denise Huskins, and Sarah Maynard. These women are all survivors of their own infamous abductions, assaults, and attacks and for the first time, are coming together with Elizabeth to help provide valuable insight to Jayme’s story.

Three girls / 2017 / Daily Motion (Originally on BBC)

A three-part drama based on the true stories of sexual abuse and child grooming in Rochdale, England between the years 2008 and 2012. Following the timeline of events involved in the case, this series focuses particularly on three young girls named Holly, Ruby and Amber, who are victims of sexual assault and exploitation. After hearing about the claims of abuse raised by the girls, an experienced health worker named Sara fights against the reluctance of the police and judicial powers to seek justice.

The Keepers / 2017 / Netflix

The unsolved murder of Cathy Cesnik, a beloved nun and Catholic high school teacher in Baltimore. After disappearing on Nov. 7, 1969, Cesnik's body was found nearly two months later -- but to this day, the killer remains unnamed.

In the '90s, the case returned to the spotlight after one of Cesnik's former students accused the high school's chaplain of sexual abuse, and claims that she was taken to Cesnik's then undiscovered corpse and threatened. Director Ryan White pieces together the story through conversations with friends, relatives, journalists, government officials, and Baltimore citizens, hoping to uncover the truth.