Film about sex offenders wins best new documentary director award at Tribeca


By JONATHAN LEAF . . . Why would a law mandate that ex-convicts be homeless and virtually unemployable? And what sort of government imposes such rules?

That’s the question of David Feige’s startling new documentary “Untouchable,” a Tribeca Film Festival award winner.

I must note here that I am not completely objective about this film. I have known Feige for many years and was briefly a collaborator with him on a TV pilot project. At the same time I watched the movie with certain prejudices and experiences which made me instinctively hostile and resistant to its message.

Feige’s subject is America’s present set of policies with respect to convicted sex offenders. But, while the film is broadly arguing for a wholesale reassessment of these mechanisms of control, the director has great sympathy for the families of those victimized by sex offenders and for their desire for retribution.

In fact, that’s where his story starts: with powerful Florida lobbyist Ron Book and his daughter Lauren and their account of how she was molested and tortured by an immigrant housekeeper. Then Feige travels around Tampa with Judy Cornett, a working class mother whose son was kidnapped and raped by a local pedophile. Cornett has organized a patrol that seeks to protect neighborhood kids. Feige is an avuncular personality, and he wins his subjects’ trust and his remarkable interviews offer us a deeply affecting view of their heartbreak. (See full article in Forbes Online)

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