The most disturbing viewing experience at this year’s Sundance Film Festival wasn’t the horror movie you’d expect; instead, it was “Leaving Neverland,” a challenging four-hour documentary about the alleged abuse Michael Jackson visited upon two young boys, James Safechuck and Wade Robson. Our review described it as “heartbreaking,” while Indiewire’s David Ehrlich wrote, “You’ll never listen to Michael Jackson the same way again. In fact, you may never listen to Michael Jackson again at all.” HBO is set to premiere the two-part documentary across its platforms on March 3 and 4, so you can watch the film in the privacy of your own home, where you can gasp and cry as much as is necessary for the subject matter. The premium network has just released the documentary’s first trailer.
“I believed he was a good guy, made good music, seemed nice to children, and I think most people were in that grey area,” director Dan Reed told Vice recently, explaining the story of “Leaving Neverland” in unequivocal terms. “Sadly, it turns out he was a sexual predator, and I think a lot of people are going to rethink their view of him.”
In addition to directing, Reed (“Three Days of Terror: The Charlie Hebdo Attacks“) also produced the film. Jules Cornell edited, and it features Robson and Safechuck in addition to archival footage.
Here’s the film’s official description:
This two-part documentary explores the separate but parallel experiences of two young boys, James Safechuck, at age ten, and Wade Robson, at age seven, both of whom were befriended by Michael Jackson. Through gut-wrenching interviews with Safechuck, now 37, and Robson, now 41, as well as their mothers, wives, and siblings, the film crafts a portrait of sustained abuse, exploring the complicated feelings that led both men to confront their experiences after both had a young son of their own.