Review: Abducted In Plain Sight
Abducted In Plain Sight is a great example of how to successfully follow the conventions of the true crime genre.
The first ever Toronto True Crime Film Festival is being held on June 8th and 9th and its showcasing some of the most exciting new true crime films. One of the films featured is Abducted In Plain Sight, a documentary film about the story of Jan Broberg. Kidnapped as a child by a family friend, Broberg’s story unfolds throughout the documentary as we learn the bizarre and twisted details of the crime she was victim to.
Abducted In Plain Sight is a great example of how to successfully follow the conventions of the true crime genre. It may not be innovative in its storytelling or visuals, but it spins an excellent story in a gripping and straightforward way. Through talking head interviews from Jan Broberg and her family, along with home footage and re-enactments, the truth about Jan’s kidnapping is brought to light. The re-enactments are stylish in that they look like grainy home video footage and avoid being cheesy or taking attention away from the interviews.
The interviews are the main focus of the film, which is a smart choice. The family members are all candid, honest, and are presented fairly objectively: there are moments you will sympathise, and moments you will be insanely frustrated with them. The story itself revolves heavily around the characters, so seeing it through their eyes makes it all the more gripping.
The story has all the messed-up twists you want from true crime, and the structure allows the story to unfold so that it gets progressively more and more disturbing all the way to the end. It’s worth going in blind to the story, so that the impact of the details being revealed isn’t lost.
All in all, if you like true crime you will enjoy Abducted In Plain Sight. In a world where true crime stories are now sustaining a whole series, it is nice to have the story in one sitting (without having to binge-watch). It might not be the most revolutionary or flashy crime documentary, but it still packs a punch.