Michael Jackson Documentary Focusing On Sexual Abuse Allegations To Debut At Sundance 2019

Michael Jackson prepares to enter the Santa Barbara County Superior Court to hear the verdict read in his child molestation case June 13, 2005 in Santa Maria, California.
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A documentary focusing on the sexual abuse allegations against Michael Jackson is set to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Rolling Stone is reporting. The film will be shown in two parts and will run for 233 minutes in total. Titled Finding Neverland, the documentary will focus on claims that Jackson sexually abused a pair of boys, ages 7 and 10.

“Now in their 30s, they tell the story of how they were sexually abused by Jackson, and how they came to terms with it years later,” the official film synopsis reads.

This description seems to imply that the alleged victims are involved with the film, but whether the accusers are participating in the movie or not is still unclear. According to Pitchfork, the documentary is set to premiere on January 25 at the Egyptian Theatre in Park City, Utah. A Q&A session is lined up to occur after the movie ends, where reporters and members of the audience can throw out questions to those involved with the making of the film. Leaving Neverland is directed and produced by Dan Reed, who has directed documentaries with similar themes in the past, such as The Pedophile Hunters. He’s also been recognized for his film Three Days of Terror: The Charlie Hebdo Attacks.

Many outlets are speculating that the documentary will interview a set of brothers who accused Jackson of molestation in 2005, but as The Wrap points out, those two boys are in their 20s — while the synopsis describes the victims in their 30s. He did pay a civil settlement in 1994, however, to the family of a boy who would now be in his 30s. As for the trial involving the pair of brothers, Jackson was acquitted of those charges. Since the names of those involved with the documentary have not been released, many are considering the possibility that the film will feature victims who have not come forward until now.

Various media outlets have reached out to both the Jackson Estate and Tom Meserau, who represented Jackson in his most infamous trial, but both sources have yet to respond. Another 2003 documentary drew attention to the suspicious relationships Jackson allegedly had with young boys. For that British television special, Living With Michael Jackson, the pop singer was able to defend himself. For this new documentary, however, Jackson will not be able to respond to any allegations made as he passed away in 2009.

After the success of the documentary Surviving R. Kelly, which details the alleged sexual abuse committed by the R&B singer R. Kelly, many are eagerly waiting to see if this new film about Jackson will spark as large of a conversation.