English (Available dubbed in French)
Region: Ontario and Nunavut
Year of Production: 2016
Duration: 44 min.
The film begins in a rural community outside of Vancouver, Canada, where a mother of two leads a protest against the placement of a convicted pedophile across the street from her house. This sets the scene: most people have no tolerance for pedophiles.
Elsewhere, we’re introduced to the pedophiles themselves: Bob Radke, an ex-U.S. marine from Minnesota who was jailed for possessing pictures of children that were deemed child porn. As a result, he and his wife lost custody of an adopted son. And Edward Chambers, who changed his identity and moved away from his hometown in England after his attraction to little girls became public. Anton is an elementary school teacher living in Munich, Germany: struggling with his strong attraction to pubescent girls, he gives in to the temptation of a particular student he tutors after class.
And then there’s Ethan Edwards, a happily married middle-aged man who discovered his own pedophilia when he started developing romantic feelings toward the friends of his own children. Ethan then created Virtuous Pedophiles, an online network of anonymous pedophiles who attempt to lead normal lives by vowing to never act on their impulses, or to promote child abuse by accessing child pornography.
These views are powerfully contrasted by an intimate interview with Bob Martin. As he recalls his victimization, we are reminded of the dark consequences of sexual child abuse, and what can happen when pedophiles act on their impulses.
Demystifying the cause of pedophilia is charismatic pedophilia expert Dr. James Cantor. Years of research have led Dr. Cantor to his groundbreaking hypothesis that pedophilia is caused by a developmental disorder in the brain, resulting in sexual attraction to children.
Located in Germany, Prevention Project Dunkelfeld is the only facility in the world that offers truly anonymous treatment for pedophiles. Its founder, Dr. Klaus Michael Baier reflects on the overwhelming turnout to the program, their expansion to multiple locations throughout Germany, and that, by Dunkelfeld’s estimates, one out of a hundred men are born pedophiles. Attending Dunkelfeld therapy sessions, Anton learns to identify with his victim and face the reality of what he has done.
In Peterborough, Ontario, we visit a counseling session where volunteers monitor and assist convicted pedophiles who are trying to re-integrate into society after their release from jail. Here, and in sixty other communities across Canada, the organization claims to have lowered the rate of re-offence by 70%.
Set against the mass hysteria and widespread fear of pedophiles, this film introduces a paradigm shift. Viewers will have an opportunity to empathize with the hardships of living as a pedophile, and Dr. Cantor concludes that pedophiles should be able to receive the support and treatment they need to live healthy lives of self-restraint. In the fight to reduce instances of sexual child abuse around the world, understanding pedophilia, and pedophiles, is an important first step.
Some of the characters appear as themselves, but due to the stigma and possible legal repercussions of coming out as a pedophile, the film uses dramatic re-creations to tell their stories, and actors speak the words of those who fear to appear on camera.
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Cogent/Benger Productions Inc.