Chosen Review

December 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Reviews

CHOSEN, CHANNEL 4, Monday 15th December, 10pm Alert Me

While Channel 4 has always had a reputation for being ‘out there’, recent documentaries seem to have swung further and further into the extreme with wheelchair bunnies, tree-people and pregnant men all taking centre stage.

Chosen is a brutally honest, spellbinding and thought-provoking documentary that deals with the sexual abuse that many boys suffer whilst under tutorage at Britain’s private schools, and signals the channel’s dedication in realigning with its core ethos of truly challenging societal boundaries.

Directed by Emmy and BAFTA-award winning film-maker Brian Woods (China’s Stolen Children, Dying for Drugs, The Dying Rooms), it is breathtakingly remarkable in its directness. Throughout its 100 minute running time, the interviewer is heard probably twice, with the remainder allowing the three participants to speak straight to the camera of the ways in which they were groomed, abused and ultimately betrayed by a seemingly...Read More endless procession of authoritarian figures.

So often, the victim’s story seems to get bogged down amidst a wave of public hate and vindictive mud-slinging towards the abuser and these unashamedly honest, moving accounts of the harsh realities offer the victims a true forum to be heard.

Take note: at times, ‘Chosen’ is undoubtedly uncomfortable viewing. Yet as its many abuse victims so aptly point out, half of this problem is the way in which so many instances are merely swept under the carpet for fear of embarrassment.

As one man so cuttingly recites, “Evil happens when good men stay silent?, and you can do these proud, brave and respectable men no greater disservice than choosing to change channel for fear of your own awkwardness.

Powerful, moving and essential viewing.

Matt Risley