On Wednesday, February 10, area filmmaker and Emmy award-nominee Larry Nimmer’s will present the local community with a different perspective of Michael Jackson’s story than he believes it has received from government officials and media. Nimmer worked as a documentary producer for Jackson’s defense team in his 2005 child molestation trial and was granted unprecedented access to Jackson’s Neverland Ranch estate. Michael Jackson: The Untold Story of Neverland details a different narrative than the one presented by the media during the trial, exposes fabricated allegations from Jackson’s accusers, shows the Sheriff’s raid of Jackson’s ranch, reveals outtakes from Martin Bashir’s documentary Living with Michael Jackson, and features some of Jackson’s most classic career highlights.
Nimmer emphasized in an interview with The Independent that the documentary is not “super polished” and believes that the documentary “adds a fresh, new voice” to the lineup at the SBIFF. He narrates the film himself, and while the documentary is one person’s perspective of the events surrounding the Jackson controversy, it examines the facts and allows the viewer to create his or her own opinion regarding Michael’s guilt or innocence.
According to Nimmer, the documentary was submitted to the SBIFF last year and was rejected, but since Jackson’s death a more solid fan base has formed around Jackson’s life and career, and he has become a more sympathetic subject. Nimmer stated that, “There weren’t many people who stood up for him during his trial and while he was alive, but it was my honor to present the facts and defend his reputation.” Since Jackson’s death, Nimmer has witnessed fans talking about who supported him before his death, and reflects that maybe it says something about our society and the media that “someone has to die” to make headlines.
Nimmer had the honor of meeting Jackson during the documentation of Neverland and was impressed by his “modest, soft spoken, self-effacing” demeanor. In The Untold Story of Neverland, Nimmer aims to show that Jackson “was a real person who was being taken advantage of by the people he helped and by media officials.” Nimmer respects Jackson for holding onto his child-like innocence even though that very demeanor was what was attacked used against him by government officials and the media.
The world premiere of the documentary will take place on Wednesday, February 10 at 9:30 p.m. at the Victoria Hall theatre. It will be screened again on Friday, February 12 at 10:45 a.m. at the Metro IV theatre.