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JUST, MELVIN

USA, 2000 (MIFF 2000, Documentaries)

Director: James Ronald Whitney

"There are few subjects as abhorrent to our sensibilities as incest, particularly when it involves very young children. Just, Mebin chronicles a truly monstrous case. The film tells the story of an individual whose path of destruction was so insidious and devastating that it's almost impossible not to be provoked to feelings as varied as sympathy, disgust and rage. That this is not an account by an outsider, but the story of a survivor, makes it all the more remarkable and significant, but not any easier to digest."—Sundance Film Festival

Early in this shattering, but phenomenally powerful documentary, director James Whitney states that by the time the production is complete he hopes to see his grandfather dead or jailed. The remainder is his quest to keep this promise. TV Quiz show champion, Chippendale dancer, composer and now filmmaker, Whitney is able to assemble a chilling and candid portrait of the cycles and consequences of child abuse. That three generations lived through a reign of terror is remarkable, barely coping with the excesses of an evil Patriarch and murderer.

"Just, Melvin has a shattering truth to it. It's a therapy session in hell and, like the best movies, it takes you somewhere you never thought you'd go"—Entertainment Weekly

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