Carol Nahra welcomes documentary filmmaker Dan Reed. Listen to their conversation and delve into Dan's filmography.
With a career spanning a quarter century, Dan has established a reputation as one of the most dedicated and talented filmmakers working in Britain today. Dan came to worldwide prominence last year with his devastating portrait of sexual abuse Leaving Neverland. The two part Channel 4/HBO film won a number of awards.
Carol talks to Dan about his life making documentaries. In an extended edition of the podcast, they take a deep dive into his two very different types of documentaries: observational filmmaking and personal testimony combined with archive.
Filmmaker Focus: Dan Reed
Long known in the UK, Dan came to worldwide prominence last year with his devastating portrait of sexual abuse Leaving Neverland. The two-part Channel 4/HBO film won a number of awards and was widely hailed by viewers and critics as a forensic examination of the longterm trauma of sexual abuse. At the same time, Dan found himself bombarded by a global legion of Michael Jackson supporters, many of whom had never watched the film.
As Dan himself admits, he’s no stranger to navigating difficult terrain. From his work amongst gang members in South Africa in Cape of Fear (1994), to covering both sides of the Balkan conflict in The Valley (2000), he has often placed himself in dangerous positions.
In recent years, Dan has explored complex stories of trauma through intimate personal testimony. The films use user-generated content, CCTV and interviews to powerful effect, depicting the timeline of terrorism events as they erupt across everyday settings: an opera in Moscow, a mall in Nairobi, luxury hotels in Mumbai, and the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo.
Alongside his terrorism films, Dan has built up a stable of observational documentaries, embedding himself amongst Russian gangsters, drug abusers and escorts. The Paedophile Hunter (Channel 4, 2014) won two BAFTAs and a Grierson award for its portrait of paedophile vigilante Stinson Hunter.
Leaving Neverland / 2019 / 3h 56min
At the height of his stardom, Michael Jackson began long-running relationships with two boys, aged 7 and 10, and their families. Now in their 30s, they tell the story of how they were sexually abused by Jackson.
Calais: The End of the Jungle / 2017 / 58mins
Filmed deep inside the notorious migrant camp, this film charts the final days of the Calais Jungle as Europe’s largest migrant camp erupted into flames.