An Open Secret Review - Courageous, Compelling, Shocking

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An Open Secret, from Disarming Films, Rocky Mountains Pictures and Vesuvio Entertainment, brings to the screen the disturbing dark side of Hollywood's child talent industry with candid  and compelling accounts exposing dangerous well known pedophiles.

Directed by Amy Berg, An Open Secret, brings together a cast of industry experts, child talent, survivors, and parents with Evan Henzi, Michael Egan III, Mark Ryan, Jory Coleman, Nick Stojanovich, Todd Bridges, Marc Collins-Rector, John Connolly, Corey Feldman, Michael Harrah, Brian Beck, Brock Pierce, Chad Shackley, Bryan Singer, Martin Weiss presented in either first person or archive footage. An Open Secret was written by Berg, Lorien Haynes and Billy McMillin.

In docu-drama fashion Berg presents the smarmy, criminal, and dangerous pedophile rings that operate within the talent industry preying on commodity kids and unsuspecting parents, engaging in trust relationships grooming both parent and child.

Casting couch promises are quite well known and often warmed about when LAPD present literature to young starry eyed hopefuls. The insidious element Berg discusses are those who manage the children, the young girls and boys who show up on Kid's shows, sell grape juice and clothing with million dollar smiles and melt the hearts of the mommy and me demographic.

Some victims never survive the initial aggravated Post Traumatic Stress phase that plagues them, others make it through only to have some buried repressed memories, like a demon rising from the pit of hell, attack them again as they move on into adult life. Others remember everything.

Parents offered compelling account and memories of a talented, attractive, well-adjusted mid-western, young man, raised in a good home with decent parents, who, honestly found even now the details of the possibility of the extent of what happened to their son, difficult to wrap their mind around.

Seeing the person they knew suddenly needing to live everyday anesthetized unable to survive without having his mind and senses dulled and blurred was too dreadful. The unknown was the enemy as the unfathomable assault, to shameful to speak of, and watching their son slowly kill himself, caused their imagination as parents to overload.

Victims who survived candidly told the story, giving graphic accounts of a faithful friend, someone whom became a member of the extended family, violating their trust and abusing the power entrusted in them.

Certainly the boys in An Open Secret were brave to come forward finally exposing,especially now, now may just be the right time as political correctness rules the day, and the court of public opinion shape judgement on every action from poor word choices to decades buried sexual assaults.

The men, more than pedophiles, are openly portrayed. The most prominent Bryan Singer, X-Men Director, has beat child rape charges more than one time and those around him have also.

Lawsuits have been levied and died quiet deaths which doesn't negate truth. The judicial system is never about truth. It is about the best presentation and who can present better. All the conclusive evidence in the world can still result in a dismissal. This happens in every city, every day.

Back to Hollywood double standard, and this of course is not gender, this is prosecution. Accounts of the parties held at Mr. Singer's home were also portrayed with rules for drug, alcohol and nudity mandatory. The male only parties were described in detail by the boys and scenes cut for the films showing with An Open Secret's trailer showing more explicit and dramatic versions of these events.

Independent monitoring groups have spent more than ten years investigating the allegations and released the documentation to Berg and her team. The effort was not undertaken lightly; the team was well aware of the possibility of personal repercussions.

As we are a nation blinded into believing in justice and the judicial process, this is the furthest from the truth. Those who openly and actively engaged in criminal behavior even with pages of depositions have never faced any criminal proceedings.

The repercussion of "telling" is carried over from the perpetrator to the judicial system who does nothing to protect the victim even to the point of aiding, pampering or coddling the criminals. The pedophiles walk into the next million dollar gig and the victim is left shattered, alone, without even hope for a future as money, power and payments track them, which is not a new method of silencing victims.

Those are such lofty ideals for Hollywood. We say the words with conviction, and yes we mean them and believe them and even lean on the law, with our power, to enforce them when they happen in others' lives, we hold telethons, we cry well placed public tears and we silently move on.

And yes, we've seen scandal derail lives, careers and speaking truth is dangerous in any industry, Karen Silkwood paid for speaking, Edward Snowden paid, unknown names and faces believing in truth stood, spoke and died, we must stand on truth. Hollywood, however, is a dangerous place for truth.

The law, in this case will only pluck the outer limits of the insidious criminal allegations that happen to child talent.

An Open Secret, courageous, an expose of the highest quality.

An Open Secret is playing in select markets. See this film.

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