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Author Topic: Documentaries - Discussion - Which should I watch?  (Read 204991 times)
The Ugly
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« Reply #100 on: April 29, 2015, 07:29:35 PM »

Here's kind of an unusual one. I remember seeing it years ago and it may have been the first doc I'd ever seen. The guy that made it says he set out to do a certain thing, but it turned into something different. So don't get fooled by the title. I'll tell you that it's sort of like American Nomads (couple posts up) in that it is a drifter.

I liked it years back, but will watch it again before saying anything else. Note the length, though, so maybe treat it like a book and come back to it a couple times in order to finish.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUvLgP_rSNM" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUvLgP_rSNM</a>

Will do, thanks. Also, if you haven't seen "Zachary" that I posted earlier in this thread, it's heartbreaking. And there were at least two more from Netflix I haven't mentioned, both incredible. Let me look.
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The Ugly
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« Reply #101 on: April 29, 2015, 07:43:10 PM »

These.


The Imposter:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1966604/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Talhotblond:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1370889/


Thought they were both better than their IMDb ratings indicated. Also, The Act of Killing is beyond bizarre:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2375605/?ref_=nv_sr_1


All streaming on Netflix (were last year, anyway). Waiting for Act's sequel to be released online soon. The Look of Silence:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3521134/?ref_=tt_rec_tt

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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #102 on: May 01, 2015, 03:26:20 PM »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r03oOoAfp4o" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r03oOoAfp4o</a>.

This was a pretty good one on a heavy metal band just on the tip of success, till drugs did them in -

https://vimeo.com/84340267

I was sure this was going to end with the guy's death. But I see he's still around, today.

Interesting that his dad was a big wheel in the DoD. And at least one of his original bandmates was the son of a corporate executive, etc., so Pentagram started as a rich kids' club. That's how he's survived being a trainwreck for so long.

Old PBS documentary on junkies using a mystery designer drug that leaves them is a semi frozen state that might lead to breakthroughs in brain disease science -

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsBphHpOfd4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsBphHpOfd4</a>.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLs3aMLBXVg" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLs3aMLBXVg</a>.



----------------------------------------

Nick Broomfield's documentary on the CYA/California Prison System from the late 1970's -

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3StDwNf6t4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3StDwNf6t4</a>.

Disposable Heroes , a mid 1980's HBO documentary on life after football. Mainly about the injuries and breakdowns high contact players suffer -

http://vimeo.com/4683642 .



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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #103 on: May 01, 2015, 03:44:22 PM »

Will do, thanks. Also, if you haven't seen "Zachary" that I posted earlier in this thread; it's heartbreaking, but truly amazing. And there were at least two more from Netflix I haven't mentioned, both incredible. Let me look.

Zachary hasn't been available, unfortunately. I'm familiar with the story, though.
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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #104 on: May 01, 2015, 03:51:30 PM »

Quote
Thought they were both better than their IMDb ratings indicated. Also, The Act of Killing is beyond bizarre:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2375605/?ref_=nv_sr_1

I remember seeing/reading something about this happening. What was the watch like, TU?
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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #105 on: May 01, 2015, 04:56:36 PM »

Quote
Man, Imposter looks like it would be crazy. WTF. How could this have happened?

Just read up on it. Strange, strange, strange.
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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #106 on: May 01, 2015, 05:51:42 PM »

Yeah, so on Netflix I'll look for The Imposter and The Look of Silence. It's been a while since I checked their playlist, anyway, so will give Netflix a first whirl.
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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #107 on: May 01, 2015, 06:50:21 PM »

Zachary hasn't been available, unfortunately. I'm familiar with the story, though.

Your link for this is up again, TU. Will check it out.
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« Reply #108 on: May 02, 2015, 12:50:39 AM »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjHo5BZM7V0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjHo5BZM7V0</a>
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« Reply #109 on: May 02, 2015, 01:10:34 AM »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKORsrlN-2k" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKORsrlN-2k</a>
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The Ugly
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« Reply #110 on: May 02, 2015, 02:58:49 AM »

I was sure this was going to end with the guy's death. But I see he's still around.


Said pretty much the exact same thing when it was first posted.
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« Reply #111 on: May 03, 2015, 03:17:56 AM »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTPNyDrpHhU" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTPNyDrpHhU</a>
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« Reply #112 on: May 06, 2015, 03:52:48 AM »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvDpYHyBlgc" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvDpYHyBlgc</a>
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« Reply #113 on: May 06, 2015, 12:23:22 PM »

Odd little short film / documentary of Philadelphia gangs in the late 60's. Not super interesting, but very nicely shot with some interesting moments interspersed  - 

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHKN8Cpuemk" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHKN8Cpuemk</a>.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgsjela9wUo" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgsjela9wUo</a>.

More on it here -

http://dangerousminds.net/comments/the_jungle_philadelphias_mean_streets .
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« Reply #114 on: May 07, 2015, 08:24:53 AM »

Couldn't resist with the timing. This is about crime in Philadelphia. I'll say, though, in these "Law and Disorder" ones with Theroux, it's pretty clear Louis is being had with some of the stories and claims. In the one from Johannesburg, it was even more obvious. Not always sure why he allows it in the final watch:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tei_Jv80ibQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tei_Jv80ibQ</a>
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« Reply #115 on: May 07, 2015, 08:26:47 AM »

The Imposter: Frédéric Bourdin (born 13 June 1974) is a French serial impostor the press has nicknamed "The Chameleon". He began his impersonations as a child and claims to have assumed at least 500 false identities, three of which have been actual teenage missing persons.

Bourdin was born in Nanterre, Hauts-de-Seine and raised by his grandparents in Nantes, France, until running away and eventually travelling to Paris. He says that he never knew his father, who his mother has stated was a married Algerian immigrant named Kaci.

Impersonations: Nicholas Barclay, aged thirteen at the time, was playing basketball with his friends in his home town of San Antonio, Texas, on 13 June 1994. Barclay never made it home and has not been seen or heard from since. In 1997 Bourdin took the identity of Nicholas Barclay and was flown to the United States. Although Bourdin had brown eyes and a French accent, he convinced the family he was their blue-eyed son, saying he had escaped from a child prostitution ring. Bourdin lived with the family for almost five months until 6 March 1998.

In late 1997 a local private investigator grew suspicious while he was working with a TV crew that had been filming the family. The investigator compared a photo of Bourdin's ears to Nicholas' ears, and discovered that they did not match. In February 1998 the FBI obtained a court order to take the young man's fingerprints and DNA, which were later identified as belonging to Bourdin. In September 1998 Bourdin pleaded guilty to passport fraud and perjury in a San Antonio federal court. He was imprisoned for six years, more than twice as long as recommended by the sentencing guidelines.

When Bourdin returned to France from the United States in 2003, he moved to Grenoble and assumed the identity of Léo Balley, a 14-year-old French boy who had been missing since 1996; DNA testing proved he was not Balley.

In August 2004 he was in Spain, claiming to be an adolescent named Ruben Sanchez Espinoza whose mother had been killed in the Madrid bomb attacks. When the police found out the truth, they deported him to France.

In June 2005 Bourdin passed himself off as Francisco Hernandes-Fernandez, a 15-year-old Spanish orphan, and spent a month in the College Jean Monnet in Pau, France. He claimed that his parents had been killed in a car accident. He dressed as a teenager, adopted a proper walking style, covered his receding hairline with a baseball cap and used depilatory face creams. On 12 June a teacher unmasked him after seeing a television program about his exploits. On 16 September he was sentenced to four months in prison for possessing and using the previous false identity of Léo Balley.

According to interviews, Bourdin has been looking for "love and affection" and attention he never received as a child. He has pretended to be an orphan several times.
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The Ugly
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« Reply #116 on: May 07, 2015, 11:22:13 AM »

The Imposter: Frédéric Bourdin (born 13 June 1974) is a French serial impostor the press has nicknamed "The Chameleon". He began his impersonations as a child and claims to have assumed at least 500 false identities, three of which have been actual teenage missing persons.

Bourdin was born in Nanterre, Hauts-de-Seine and raised by his grandparents in Nantes, France, until running away and eventually travelling to Paris. He says that he never knew his father, who his mother has stated was a married Algerian immigrant named Kaci.

Impersonations: Nicholas Barclay, aged thirteen at the time, was playing basketball with his friends in his home town of San Antonio, Texas, on 13 June 1994. Barclay never made it home and has not been seen or heard from since. In 1997 Bourdin took the identity of Nicholas Barclay and was flown to the United States. Although Bourdin had brown eyes and a French accent, he convinced the family he was their blue-eyed son, saying he had escaped from a child prostitution ring. Bourdin lived with the family for almost five months until 6 March 1998.

In late 1997 a local private investigator grew suspicious while he was working with a TV crew that had been filming the family. The investigator compared a photo of Bourdin's ears to Nicholas' ears, and discovered that they did not match. In February 1998 the FBI obtained a court order to take the young man's fingerprints and DNA, which were later identified as belonging to Bourdin. In September 1998 Bourdin pleaded guilty to passport fraud and perjury in a San Antonio federal court. He was imprisoned for six years, more than twice as long as recommended by the sentencing guidelines.

When Bourdin returned to France from the United States in 2003, he moved to Grenoble and assumed the identity of Léo Balley, a 14-year-old French boy who had been missing since 1996; DNA testing proved he was not Balley.

In August 2004 he was in Spain, claiming to be an adolescent named Ruben Sanchez Espinoza whose mother had been killed in the Madrid bomb attacks. When the police found out the truth, they deported him to France.

In June 2005 Bourdin passed himself off as Francisco Hernandes-Fernandez, a 15-year-old Spanish orphan, and spent a month in the College Jean Monnet in Pau, France. He claimed that his parents had been killed in a car accident. He dressed as a teenager, adopted a proper walking style, covered his receding hairline with a baseball cap and used depilatory face creams. On 12 June a teacher unmasked him after seeing a television program about his exploits. On 16 September he was sentenced to four months in prison for possessing and using the previous false identity of Léo Balley.

According to interviews, Bourdin has been looking for "love and affection" and attention he never received as a child. He has pretended to be an orphan several times.

Great film. Had no idea what to expect, initially.
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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #117 on: May 08, 2015, 06:38:28 PM »

Couldn't resist with the timing. This is about crime in Philadelphia. I'll say, though, in these "Law and Disorder" ones with Theroux, it's pretty clear Louis is being had with some of the stories and claims. In the one from Johannesburg, it was even more obvious. Not always sure why he allows it in the final watch:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cslE5Rg0K0Y" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cslE5Rg0K0Y</a>

I was wrong about Philadelphia. It's actually pretty straightforward.

Really cruddy scenes throughout the whole thing, etc. (But if you'd like to see an episode of Cops with Louis Theroux in the middle of it all, this is it. Not a bad watch.)

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The Ugly
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« Reply #118 on: May 08, 2015, 07:48:23 PM »

I was wrong about Philadelphia. It's actually pretty straightforward.

Really cruddy scenes throughout the whole thing, etc. (But if you'd like to see an episode of Cops with Louis Theroux in the middle of it all, this is it. Not a bad watch.)


Saw this one, and I think I saw Johannesburg as well, but I'm not sure what you mean by this:

it's pretty clear Louis is being had with some of the stories and claims. In the one from Johannesburg, it was even more obvious. Not always sure why he allows it in the final watch:

Who told the stories and made claims that were false? I don't even remember the episode, honestly.
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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #119 on: May 09, 2015, 11:21:39 AM »

Saw this one, and I think I saw Johannesburg as well, but I'm not sure what you mean by this:

it's pretty clear Louis is being had with some of the stories and claims. In the one from Johannesburg, it was even more obvious. Not always sure why he allows it in the final watch:

Who told the stories and made claims that were false? I don't even remember the episode, honestly.

The one in Philly seems good to go, actually. They did kinda bullshit a bit with the ghetto "jewelery", but not even Big Red could keep a straight face with his claims and I don't think anyone was taking any of it seriously. I do believe that Red is/was in the habit of ordering hits on people, though, and that he and others in the vid are violent criminals.

To be fair to Louis about the ones he did in Africa: he's out of his element, there, and making shit up is going to be a lot easier - and healthier - than seeking out the real bad guys. I'll watch those again and give a critique.
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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #120 on: May 09, 2015, 11:27:29 AM »

Louis Theroux examines the problem of crime in Johannesburg:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sifETGOKS18" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sifETGOKS18</a>
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« Reply #121 on: May 09, 2015, 11:31:29 AM »

Louis Theroux looks at crime in the big city of Lagos, Nigeria, Africa:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOEZufmetec" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOEZufmetec</a>
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« Reply #122 on: May 09, 2015, 11:34:11 AM »

This is about a case on Pitcairn Island that caused quite an interesting clash. It makes you wonder about the various remote islands (possibly including Tristan, unfortunately), and exactly what goes on there in society:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKBddg2WP1c" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKBddg2WP1c</a>

Pitcairn Island, a lump of rock situated roughly halfway between New Zealand and Chile, is probably the world's most remote inhabited spot. It has no airstrip, no safe harbour and no scheduled shipping service. Visitors must hitch a lift on a container vessel travelling through the Pacific, or – as I did – fly to a far-flung part of French Polynesia and then embark on a very rough, 30-hour boat voyage. Generally, applications to visit must be approved by the islanders; most requests are turned down.

The day after we arrived on Pitcairn, in September 2004, Olive Christian invited members of the media to Big Fence, her sprawling home overlooking the Pacific. Olive is the wife of Steve Christian, mayor of the island and one of the seven Pitcairn-based defendants accused of child sex offences.

When we got to Big Fence, 15 women – almost the entire adult female population of the island – were assembled on sofas and plastic chairs in the living room. At that time, the names of the seven defendants were still suppressed by a court order. However, we were privy to this poorly kept secret; every woman in the room was related to one or more of the men.

We had been summoned to Big Fence, it turned out, to be told that their menfolk were not "perverts" or "hardened criminals"; they were decent, hard-working family types. No islander would tolerate children being interfered with, and no one on Pitcairn had ever been raped. The "victims" were girls who had known exactly what they were doing.

The women explained that underage sex was the norm on Pitcairn. Darralyn Griffiths, the daughter of one of the defendants, told us in a matter-of-fact way that she had lost her virginity at 13, "and I felt shit hot about it too. I felt like a big lady." Others clamoured to make similar admissions. "I had it at 12, and I was shit hot too," said Jay's sister Meralda, a woman in her forties. Olive Christian described her youth, with evident nostalgia, as a time when "we all thought sex was like food on the table".

We must have looked surprised. They were surprised we were surprised. Well, they demanded, at what age did we start having sex? It was clear, in this company and at this particular juncture, that the question could not be avoided. Some of our responses met with howls of derision; the women did not apparently believe that anyone could have lost their virginity at 18.

The point of this meeting seemed to be to persuade us that the criminal case against the seven men was based on a misconception – and, furthermore, that it was all part of an elaborate plot. Britain, the colonial power, was determined to "close the island down", they said, because it had become a financial burden. What better way to achieve that than to jail the men who were the very backbone of the community?

Why, though, we wondered aloud, would the women who had spoken to police have fabricated their accounts – accounts that, in spite of the women growing up on the island in different eras and now living thousands of miles apart, were remarkably alike? At this point, the Pitcairners produced their trump cards: Darralyn Griffiths and her sister, Charlene Warren.

Charlene, 25, with long, curly hair and a diffident manner, revealed that she had made a statement in 2000, alleging sexual abuse by Pitcairn men. But, she added, as others clucked approvingly, she had only made the statement under duress. She explained: "The detectives... dragged me to the police station. I was offered good money for each person I could name." Darralyn, 27, told us she had also made a statement – but only, she said, after being browbeaten by police. These claims of coercion were denied by the police.

Both sisters were living in New Zealand at that time. Both told detectives they were prepared to go to court. But "after I really thought about it, it was half and half... I wanted it just as bad as them. It was very much a mutual thing," Charlene said, referring to the men she named as abusers. That re-evaluation took place after Charlene returned to Pitcairn. Darralyn changed her mind shortly before she, too, went home.

Their mother, Carol, now declared that no Pitcairn girl had ever been abused – and, almost in the same breath, told us she had had an unpleasant experience as a child. "It didn't affect me," she said. "I was probably luckier than some I've read about... I was 10 at the time. But even at 10, I knew it was wrong, it's a bad thing. I screamed like hell."

Carol said that, when she heard Darralyn had spoken to police, "I thought, 'What on earth is that girl thinking about?'" She went on: "I told the cops; not one of these girls went into this with their eyes shut. They knew exactly what they were doing. The women here are loose, and it's not the men's fault. What are they supposed to do?"

The women seemed feisty and opinionated, but when the conversation moved to the prospect of their male relatives being jailed, they suddenly appeared vulnerable. Olive reckoned that, without the men, "you might as well pick Pitcairn up and throw it away, because no one is going to survive". With the population having already declined to crisis point, the women claimed, if even a couple of men were locked up, there would be too few to crew the longboats, which were used to ferry people and supplies to the island.

Olive stood to lose most. Among the seven defendants she counted her husband (Steve), son (Randy), father (Len) and younger brother (Dave). Another six Pitcairn men facing court in Auckland – they had all moved to Australia or New Zealand – included her other brother, Kay, and her two other sons, Trent (who was later cleared) and Shawn. Olive lamented: "We live as one big family on this island, and nothing will ever be the same... Right now, with all this going on, maybe they should have hanged Fletcher Christian."

****

It was Tuesday morning, which meant that Pitcairn's one shop, situated on the main road, a couple of banana groves down from the square, was open for business. But you had to be quick, for it would be closed by 9am – and if you missed it, you had to wait until Thursday, when it opened for another solitary hour of trading.

The shop was crowded, although probably no more than a dozen people were browsing the dusty shelves, stacked with tins of lambs' tongues and condensed milk. Olive Christian's son, Randy, and several other men who were about to go on trial stood around, laughing loudly at some private joke. They were mostly barefoot, and carried fishing knives in their belts. As I roamed the aisles, a figure in a baggy grey T-shirt leant over a freezer of meat. "We don't like reporters here," said Dave Brown, with a half-smile. Short and stocky, with a bushy moustache, Dave was charged with 16 offences, including indecent assault and gross indecency with a child. But, like the other defendants, he was free on bail, and for now he was just gassing with his mates.

Also open that morning, again for the blink of an eye, was the minuscule post office, presided over by Dennis Christian. Dennis was charged with three sexual assaults. He explained to us politely that Pitcairn's once booming stamp business was in decline.

Within a few days of landing on Pitcairn, we knew who was who among the 40 or so residents. Every time we stepped out, we bumped into the locals; often they would overtake us on the quad bikes that they hopped on even for short trips. I was never sure whether to wave: it seemed rude not to, but sometimes the only response was an icy stare.

Not everyone was unfriendly. Outside the medical centre, I met a chatty Englishman: Mike Lupton-Christian, who is married to Brenda Christian, Steve's sister. Mike appeared well suited to Pitcairn life. But his attempts to muck in had so far been frustrated.

Mike was keen to use Pitcairn's big red tractor. He needed a licence, but when he applied to the council's internal committee, chaired by Randy Christian, nothing happened. "They kept saying things like, 'After the next ship's been,'" said Mike.

Vaine Peu, an amiable Cook Islander and the partner of Charlene Warren, told a similar story; Turi Griffiths, Darralyn's husband, also from the Cooks, which lie west of Pitcairn, could not get a licence either. As for Simon Young, another Englishman, he had secured a licence – but only for an old blue tractor. Mike, Vaine, Turi and Simon were outsiders. Meanwhile, two local teenagers were being trained to drive the big red tractor.

Those who could not drive the tractor – mainly used to plough the islanders' gardens, which yielded produce to trade on passing ships – were dependent on those who could. And those who could were men who had been born on Pitcairn and spent their lives there: the "Big Fence gang", as they were called.

****

On the morning of 29 September 2004, a curious sight greeted the people of Pitcairn. Groups of strangers strode purposefully along the rutted "main road", dressed in dark suits, polished shoes and long black gowns.

Among them was the Pitcairn Chief Justice, Charles Blackie, climbing the winding back lane up to the square. Graham Ford, the registrar, escorted him into the dilapidated wooden courthouse. Minutes later, Blackie appeared, bowed briefly and sat down. And so began one of the most unusual trials in British criminal history.

Looking around, the judge would have seen that the paintwork in the courtroom was peeling. The defendant stood in the front row of the public gallery, wearing shorts, flip-flops and a blue T-shirt with a Bounty logo. Stevens Raymond Christian, the island's 53-year-old mayor, was scowling, perhaps because the suppression order had just been lifted. He, and the other accused, could be named for the first time in media reports.

Steve's sister Brenda, the police officer, stood guard at the door. Simon Moore, the Public Prosecutor, looked uncomfortable in his buttoned-up bar jacket and stiff wing collar. The lawyers were in full English court regalia, apart from horsehair wigs – the sole concession to the tropical heat. Fans pushed hot air from one corner of the low-ceilinged room to another; thin green curtains fluttered at the windows. Through a chink, palm trees could be glimpsed. Brenda closed the door and took a seat beside her brother.

Steve faced six counts of rape and four of indecent assault. He leant back, arms folded, as the court heard that the offences dated from 1964 to 1975. Like the other defendants, with the exception of Dennis Christian, he'd pleaded not guilty to all charges.

I glanced over at Steve, sitting a few feet away. He gave off an impression of compact strength. A secretive half-smile curled around his lips. He seemed a man at ease with himself. But I also detected a coiled tension. This was not someone accustomed to being crossed.

After a short interval for a satellite link with New Zealand to be set up, a female figure appeared on a television monitor. She was middle-aged, with red hair, and wore a black jacket. She looked terrified. Steve shifted in his chair. Jennifer had flown from England to tell her story, and was in a studio in Auckland. None of the victims, understandably, wished to return to Pitcairn to give evidence. Simon Moore began to question her gently.

As the adult Steve gazed at the screen, Jennifer described an incident that occurred when she was 11 or 12, and she was with a crowd of youngsters walking out for a picnic. Falling behind, she noticed Steve and two other boys waiting for her under some banyan trees. Steve grabbed hold of her and pushed her to the ground; then, as the other two pinned her down, he raped her. Jennifer, who was a virgin, struggled to break free. Afterwards, Steve told his friends: "Your turn if you want." They declined, and the three of them ran off laughing.

Jennifer claimed that Steve raped her three more times. Paul Dacre, the Public Defender, pressed her on why she did not inform her parents. "They couldn't do anything about it," she said. "There's nobody on the island that you could turn to for anything like this... That's the way of life on Pitcairn. You get abused, you get raped. It's the normal way of life on Pitcairn when I was growing up."

Simon Moore asked why she did not tell her husband about the abuse, either. Jennifer said she did not wish to disillusion him. "Everybody in the outside world thinks Pitcairn Island is a paradise," she cried. "But it was sheer hell back home when I was growing up."

Steve was followed into court by his brother-in-law, Dave Brown, 49, who was charged with assaulting five victims, including a five-year-old girl whom he allegedly forced to give him oral sex. He was also accused of molesting a 15-year-old girl during a spearfishing trip, and a 14-year-old while she was driving his quad bike.

Next came Dave's father, 78-year-old Len Brown, who was accused of twice raping Jennifer, one of Steve's victims, in her father's watermelon patch. Dennis Christian, 49, admitted to three charges of sexual assault, while Jay Warren, 47, a former Pitcairn magistrate, was accused and cleared of molesting a 12-year-old girl while swimming in Bounty Bay. Terry Young, 45, the island's electrician, allegedly raped a 12-year-old weekly, when they went out to collect firewood together, after indecently assaulting her from the age of six.

Last to face court was Steve Christian's 30-year-old son, Randy, who was accused of gagging and raping 10-year-old Belinda in a banana grove in tandem with his younger brother, Shawn; the two men allegedly took turns to hold her down. Shawn later went on trial in New Zealand, as did Terry Young's older brother, Brian. Brian was charged with repeatedly raping two sisters under the age of 10.

It had been raining for days, and the roads were rivers of mud when the sleek white shape of the Clipper Odyssey, an American cruise ship, hove into view. I had been on Pitcairn for nearly two weeks; now the island was preparing to welcome some new visitors: tourists.

Weather aside, I felt bemused by this prospect. I knew that, for many outsiders, the prospect of meeting Fletcher Christian's descendants was beguiling; however, seven of those men with romantic antecedents were on trial for raping and sexual assaulting children. Did the Clipper Odyssey's passengers really want to come here and mingle with the accused and their families? Wasn't the whole child abuse business just a little, you know, off-putting?

That morning I stepped outside to discover that Adamstown – where the pace of life is usually languid, to say the least – was a hubbub of activity. Stalls had been set up along the main road, with souvenirs laid out under waterproof tarpaulins. There were Pitcairn stamps, postcards, T-shirts, cookbooks, woven baskets, local honey and wooden carvings.

From the crest of the Hill of Difficulty, I could see the Clipper Odyssey pitching quite briskly offshore. The longboats were ferrying people to and fro, with the swell lifting their prows right out of the water and dashing them down again. Visitors with backpacks and sunhats and cameras were squelching their way along Pitcairn's muddy trails, while others were being shown around on quad bikes. A stout-hearted group was hiking up to Christian's Cave.

I browsed the stalls and bought a T-shirt from Carol Warren, Jay's wife, who was all smiles as she hunted out the right size and colour for me. Terry Young, whose trial was about to begin, sold me a wooden shark with teeth fashioned from real shark's teeth. I had a fascinating discussion with Terry about wood carving. I was pleased that the locals were being so friendly today. Perhaps they had just needed time to thaw.

At The Landing, yet more stalls had been put up and tourists were milling around, chatting excitedly with the locals. "What generation Pitcairner are you?" a middle-aged woman enquired as I stood on the jetty, surveying the scene.

"I'm not a Pitcairner," I replied.

"But you work on the boats?"

"No," I said. 'I'm a journalist."

"Oh... so what are you doing on Pitcairn, then?"

"I'm covering the trials – you know, the child sexual abuse trials."

"I see... [backing off] That must be interesting."

At midday, the visitors converged on Big Fence for fish and chips, provided (for a fee) by Steve and Olive Christian. No one found the choice of lunch venue untoward, it seemed, including the American tour company chartering the Clipper Odyssey. It was as if reality had been suspended, and everyone was engaged in a game of make-believe. Let's make believe that everything is rosy on the legendary island of Bounty fame. Let's make believe that the Pitcairn Islanders are all fine, upstanding citizens. Let's make believe that half of the mutineers' male heirs, including our lunch host, aren't accused of sex crimes.

More chips, anyone?

Some of the ship's passengers quizzed us in hushed tones about the case; they appeared to be enjoying the extra frisson. One Belgian woman said: "We have exactly the same trials in our country not so long ago, so you can understand that happens everywhere."

True, but it's not everywhere that crowds of tourists happily rub shoulders with alleged paedophiles, visit them in their homes, buy their souvenirs, pose for photographs with them, and generally treat them like nobility.

An American in his early sixties told me that he had been longing to visit Pitcairn since he was a boy. So how did it feel to be here at last? "Awesome," he replied.

At the conclusion of the court case in October 2004, six men were found guilty of a total of 35 offences, and four received prison sentences. However, they all remained free, as their lawyers were preparing appeals that would eventually be heard by the Privy Council in London. The journalists spent one final week on Pitcairn, waiting for a boat to arrive.

****

One morning, I found myself out fishing with Len Brown, 78, who had been convicted of twice raping Jennifer. I watched Len skip barefoot across the jagged rocks, spear in one hand, fishing tackle in the other.

As I stood on the rocks, I saw a small boat motor past. Belinda's father was out fishing with Randy Christian, who had just been given a prison sentence for raping Belinda.

Belinda's father was not apparently angry with Randy. Actually, most Pitcairners thought Randy was the one with reason to be cross. They seemed to be scornful of Belinda's father, who had failed to prevent his recalcitrant daughter from giving evidence.

Mindful of one significant loose end in our reporting, another journalist and I decided to drop by Steve Christian's house and ask him for an interview.

As we approached Big Fence, I glanced in through a window. Steve and his mates were assembled in the living room. We walked up the driveway towards the front door, which was open. Steve was sprawled on a sofa, holding court. When he saw us, he almost foamed at the mouth.

"We just want to request an interview," I called out.

"GET THE FUCK OFF MY LAND!" shouted Steve, gesticulating with violent sweeps of his arm.

****

The boat was on its way, I was relieved to learn. I felt like I was suffocating – confined for six weeks in this tiny, out of the way place, and crushed by the weight of the women's testimony.

Reminders were all around. Close to our house was the sugar-cane processing shed. Nearby, at the hands of Randy Christian, and, allegedly, Shawn, Belinda had suffered atrocities no 10-year-old should even know of. In fact, there was barely a location on the island that was not associated with some harrowing tale of sexual violence.

I wandered the length of Garnets Ridge, nearly 1,000ft above sea level, a spot as ravishing as it was lonely. I could see Adamstown way below, a few dozen houses sprinkled across a green hillside. As I looked down at this unremarkable rural settlement, framed by the savage beauty of the Pacific, I shivered.

I walked past the crumbling gravestones in the little cemetery, located on a grassy clifftop. Beneath the ground lay generations of men whose crimes had gone unpunished, and generations of women whose stories remained untold. Some of their sons and grandsons had been brought to account now. But would the cycle of abuse on Pitcairn ever end?

-----

In 2006, the Privy Council threw out the Pitcairners' appeal, and four men went to jail. Another two joined them after being convicted at trials in New Zealand later that year.

The names of the rape victims have been changed.


Source is independent.co.uk, and is taken from book on the subject. (Author: Kathy Marks)
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Getbig V
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I hope I'm not boring you.


« Reply #123 on: May 09, 2015, 05:50:50 PM »

Neat old MTA commercial and a short documentary on working the trains in the late 70's, early 80's. Nice little slice of the times, interesting little facts in it -

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4gq_wnEsmI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4gq_wnEsmI</a>.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcN_gPZEEI8" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcN_gPZEEI8</a>.
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Getbig V
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Posts: 9208


I hope I'm not boring you.


« Reply #124 on: May 09, 2015, 05:58:35 PM »

This guy was an old PBS film maker from the 70's - 90's or so, and his family preserved some of his work here -

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1m0AmYXDxmXkuBvuWQZJrg .

Some great old stuff, here are my picks -

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlQK5Xl0B9s" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlQK5Xl0B9s</a>.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTCSfx47R1w" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTCSfx47R1w</a>.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nJ6lh2u_g0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nJ6lh2u_g0</a>.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRfAdi0s73I" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRfAdi0s73I</a>.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1TUON6xDdY" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1TUON6xDdY</a>.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEL0l4C8HMg" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEL0l4C8HMg</a>.
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