DAVID BIANCULLI

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NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
CASTING JONBENET
April 28, 2017  | By David Bianculli

Netflix, 3:00 a.m. ET

 

This is not a recommendation. Director Kitty Green presents this nonfiction film that’s technically a documentary, but also, arguably, an unabashed exploitation film. (What to call it? A docutation? An exploitmentary?) It takes the December 1996 murder case of young JonBenet Ramsey and revisits it from several directions, purportedly by planning and casting a film on the Ramsey case, with the parts filled by local residents of the same Boulder, CO community where the young girl lived and died. So without narration or context, we see the audition footage for the alleged drama’s several parts – the girl, the brother, the mother, the father, the police chief – as well as some of those wannabe actors running scenes and reading “sides.” It’s all creepy, and to me indefensible – especially when it gathers a small gaggle of little girls, dressed up in JonBenet pageant wear and makeup, and photographs and interviews them individually and as a group. It’s like Exploitation: The Next Generation. Please avoid it.

 
 
 
 
 
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