From Martin Knelman of the Toronto Star:
I, Pedophile dares to empathize
Matthew Campea knew it wouldn’t be easy to persuade viewers to welcome pedophiles into their living rooms. Yet I, Pedophile is so riveting and enlightening, you can’t stop watching it. It premieres Thursday at 9 p.m. on CBC’s doc series Firsthand.
Camp’s goal, bound to be controversial, was to bring empathy to troubled men who rarely get any. Continue reading.
In 2002, filmmaker Dylan Reibling’s friend, Michael De Bourcier, died under mysterious circumstances. Reibling has a copy of the death certificate from the province of Ontario and has been to his unmarked grave in Vaughan. Trouble is, De Bourcier wasn’t who he said he was, something Reibling uncovered over a decade ago and is the topic of this week’s Firsthand documentary.
“Looking for Mike,” airing Thursday at 9 p.m., begins at the beginning, with Reibling describing when and where he first met De Bourcier. They worked at a tech startup and bonded over their small-town upbringing. They had drinks, hung out and stayed in touch even after they’d been laid off. When De Bourcier asked Reibling to witness a new passport application so the former could jet to Berlin, the latter didn’t hesitate. De Bourcier never made the flight; instead he was discovered dead in his apartment.
The circumstances surrounding the death were strange and information found in his wallet were suspect. Shocked by what the authorities had uncovered, Reibling began his own investigation and discovered the man he thought was Michael De Bourcier wasn’t at all. “Looking for Mike” is engaging as heck. Reibling’s narration, coupled by barely-lit reconstructions and spare music score, is like a visual season of Serial, complete with play-by-play delivered by the filmmaker and highlighted by interviews with their old co-workers, private investigators and police. And, like Serial, you can’t help but be sucked in. Why did De Bourcier create a persona and manufacture forged documents? Why did he lie about where he grew up, yet know intimate details about that area of the province?
Who was Michael De Bourcier? Tune in to “Looking for Mike” to discover what Reibling uncovered. You won’t be disappointed.
Firsthand airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.
From Jim Bawden:
Hold Your Fire Is Finally on CBC-TV’s Firsthand
It’s a coincidence, of course, but CBC-TV’s new and compelling documentary on alcoholism Thursday night at 8 gets followed by an equally compelling new documentary on Toronto police procedures titled Hold Your Fire (at 9 p.m.). Because both hours are from Bountiful Films.
In the case of Hold Your Fire the wait has been well worth it.
Hold Your Fire was originally scheduled for October 22 at 9 p.m. on CBC-TV’s Firsthand. The stark and uncompromising look at the police shooting of Sammy Yatim is must-see TV. But the trial of a Toronto police office was still ongoing in October and ever cautious CBC chose to pull it and indeed several subsequent time periods were also abandoned. Continue reading.