Girl in the Picture (Skye Borgman, 2022, USA)

Girl in the Picture is the latest feature-length effort from Skye Borgman. Much like Borgman's earlier effort for Netflix - Abducted in Plain Sight - Picture centers on a true-crime story that seems almost too bizarre to be believed. With both films, it is best to go into viewing them with as little information as possible, as the films peel layer-by-layer. We encourage all potential viewers to read as little as possible about the film before viewing it. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, what is the film about?

The film begins with the mysterious death of a woman - Sharon Marshall - in a hit and run. This intriguing start leads to a weirder aspect. The woman had a son with an older man, and the son has no biological relation to the man. After her death, the son - Michael - was placed in the care of a foster family. Not long after, he was kidnapped by the older man at the school. This involved the kidnapping of the school's principal. This case alone would be compelling, and it is. But eventually, the film goes into Sharon's history, and we learn that neither she nor the older man was who they appeared to be on the surface.

Girl in the Picture is remarkable for several reasons. It presents a coherent story in the manner of a Hollywood narrative, capturing the details while not losing site of the broader picture. And while the film exposes evil in a very raw and palpable way, it does so at the same time celebrating the lives of the victims and humanizing them. It makes them more than victims, and this gives the film power and emotional resonance that makes it more than just a salacious true crime doc.



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