Weeks before Leaving Neverland change the legacy of Michael Jackson foreverSomething similar was happening with R. Kelly. The R & B singer had to face again the accusations that he was holding minors in his house against his will and that he was sleeping with them. But this time it was different. The police reopened his case and, on February 23, accused him of ten counts of sexual abuse. The reason for the reopening of the case: a documentary series, Surviving R. Kelly, that the American Lifetime network had begun broadcasting in January, in which the victims told their horror stories.
It is not a strange coincidence. Television documentaries have become a tool to reopen old cases and, sometimes, change them forever. Also this year Lorraine, a documentary series produced by Jordan Peele (Let me out, We) and issued by Amazon Prime Video, forced the media to reflect on the way they had judged, in the nineties, an abused woman who cut off her husband's penis.
And so we could go back by titles like Making a murderer or Amanda Knox, until The jinx (HBO), a 2015 investigation into the disappearance, in 1982, of the wife of millionaire Robert Durst. At the end of the last chapter, after several script turns, the magnate escapes a confession with the microphone on: "What did I do? Well, I killed them all, of course. " He was arrested the day after the broadcast.
And since then, there has been a proliferation of headlines in the press caused by television documentaries, which, thanks to the possibilities of the streaming, They are getting more attention than ever and more ability to reach where traditional journalists and police did not arrive in their day.
"A series allows a lot more time to be devoted to a story. Now it is feasible to spend two years working and, if you work well, you are likely to find something new, "explains English film director Justin Webster, who reopened the murder of the president of the Diputación de Leon, Isabel Carrasco, in the documentary series Death in León, that now has been prefacing with a movie on HBO.
Reed, director of Leaving Neverland, thinks that making a documentary like his in a world without streaming it would not be viable. "People are more willing to immerse themselves in stories with a lot of context," he explains. "There is a big demand for these titles. Because it is the opposite of Twitter, "says Webster. "Verifiable, calm and deep responses. And with very little opinion. We live an overdose of opinion. "