Screened as part of NZIFF 2015

Pervert Park 2014

Directed by Frida Barkfors, Lasse Barkfors

In this challenging yet open-minded doco by a young Swedish-Danish couple, Florida sex offenders preparing to re-enter society talk about their guilt and the barriers to rehabilitation. Special Jury Award winner at Sundance.

77 minutes DCP
R16 (content that may disturb, sexual themes)

Directors, Screenplay

Producers

Frida Barkfors
,
Anne Köhncke

Photography

Lasse Barkfors

Editors

Signe Rebekka Kaufmann
,
Lasse Barkfors

Music

Julian Winding

With

William Fuery
,
Tracy Hutchinson
,
James Broderick
,
Don Sweeney
,
Patrick Naughton
,
James Turner
,
William Heffernan
,
Nancy Morais

Festivals

CPH:DOX 2014; Sundance
,
Hot Docs 2015

Elsewhere

The idea that an adult found guilty of sexually assaulting a child is capable of rehabilitation is hard for many people to accept. The mother of one offender saw the challenges faced by her son, and established a haven in a Florida trailer park. There, those emerging from a prison system famously rough on their kind might live cheaply and help one another re-enter the world. To date, we are told, not one of them has reoffended. Swedish-Danish filmmaking couple Frida and Lasse Barkfors’ documentary gives voice to a handful of the residents. The disparity in offence among those who’ve been deemed akin by the justice system is startling. A student entrapped by an internet invitation to underage sex from an undercover cop takes his therapy alongside a guilt-wracked woman who has repeatedly abused her own child. Her tormented admission of the harm she has inflicted – and has had inflicted upon her – is surely worth attending to. It’s a searing rejoinder to an entrenched mindset that’s strong on condemnation, but rarely harkens to copious evidence that the abused often become abusers – and might benefit from some attention before they offend.