Monday 25 March 2019

'Abducted in Plain Sight' director wants to make sequel and reveals which details were cut from shocking documentary

'Abducted in Plain Sight' - Netflix
'Abducted in Plain Sight' - Netflix
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

'Abducted in Plain Sight' is a shocking documentary which stays with viewers long after the credits role and many viewers have been struggling with questions since it became available to stream on Netflix last week.

**WARNING: Spoilers for Netflix series Abducted in Plain Sight**

The true crime film charts the story of Idaho girl Jan Broberg who was abducted - twice, and first at the age of 12 - by Robert 'B' Berchtold, a man who befriended, seduced, and manipulated her parents, in the 1970s.

Among the many elements of the story leaving viewers incredulous is, of course, the fact that Jan was abducted twice by the same man, but also that he managed to seduce both her mother Mary Ann and her father Bob, and that her parents waited days before contacting the police after Jan went missing.

The most troubling question for viewers relates to Jan's parents and their actions, or rather their apparent inaction, in relation to the grooming of their daughter and her abductions. They have come in for a lot of criticism from viewers online who felt they did not do enough.

However, in an interview with Vanity Fair, director Skye Borgman has revealed that elements of the story were cut to accommodate the 90 minute documentary length, including a meeting between Jan's mother Mary Ann, Mary Ann's brother, and her kidnapper Berchtold, which allegedly involved Mary Ann's brother and a gun.

This is one of the reasons why Borgman says she wants to make a sequel, to "explore the different topics that we didn't have time to really dive deep into, like the role that faith plays - maybe not even just LDS [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] - but the role that faith plays in sheltering communities."

She added: "Also grooming and brainwashing - there are really interesting, intricate things that happen, and we touch on both of those topics in the documentary, but I'd love to explore those more. I guess in a perfect world, it'd be sort of a trilogy of films."

In the course of filming Borgman also spoke to a forensic psychologist who gave her court transcripts and other evidence of Berchtold's obsession with Jan as well as a professional take on how much work it takes to kidnap somebody and why "it really does take a sociopath" which did not feature in the documentary.

Borgman previously gave further insight into Jan's parents Mary Ann and Bob and why they behaved as they did in an interview with Vulture, explaining that they had convinced themselves that there had been no sexual abuse of Jan by Berchtold.

"They convinced themselves of that, even though so many people [and] the FBI said that this is something that happened," she said.

"I think it really has to do with the fact that they placed so much faith in experts, in doctors who said, 'There has been no sexual abuse because her hymen hasn't been broken'.

"They didn't have any real concept that anything else could be sexual abuse. It was purely penetration, really, that they thought was sexual abuse."

Abducted in Plain Sight is available to stream on Netflix.

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