Cutting Edge: Breaking A Female Paedophile Ring (2011, UK)

We already reviewed an older Cutting Edge show from its modern run. This newer film focuses on the most high-profile case of child abuse at a nursery in the UK from the last decade, and the other offenders that were in contact with each other by phone and Facebook.

Wisely, this film has been released just over 18 months after the convictions so it’s by no means lazy or comes across as if interviews have been sat on. It’s also slightly longer than the Dugard film. However some of the same problems remain – it’s almost all about the offenders and we hear from the offenders’ relatives who talk on the record as well as the police. We have the parents of one victim in shadow and they are given two or three scenes to comment on their rubbish treatment and the after-effects of the alleged abuse – and then it’s back to the cops, the porn and the paedophiles.

Sadly Cutting Edge seems to have preferred the downmarket tabloid approach to documentaries in general, the fact we hear more from the offenders on tape than the parents of the toddler victims ruins what could have been a good film, like a lot of Louis Theroux’s work, the subject was too big for the time it was given and the production team went with the slavish media retread angle the rest of the time, to put a framework around the talking heads of the offenders’ relatives and the police. You do learn a few more details on the case itself which weren’t highlighted due to guilty pleas, and that’s the best thing you can say about this documentary. Hopefully the next nursery abuse documentary will be handled by Channel 4’s Dispatches strand, where the tone will be as serious as the subject deserves rather than leaving you feeling you’ve just read the News of the World or National Enquirer.

The Youtube link is here and it’s on 4oD’s own site here for UK users. If either link fails then search on the programme title. The Youtube version will have an age confirmation screen to click through prior to viewing.


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