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Giviní It Up

Distributed by Fanlight Productions, 32 Court St., 21st Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201; 800-876-1710
Produced by Susan Kraus and Robert Gill
Directed by W.R. Stanton
DVD, color, 29 min.
Sr. High - Adult
Juvenile Sex Offenders, Psychology, Sociology

Reviewed by Gerald Notaro, University Librarian, Nelson Poynter Memorial Library, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
Date Entered: 10/14/2009

Giviní It Up is a strange name for a documentary film that profiles juvenile sex offenders. Fortunately, the film is better than its title. Kevin is 17, Mara is 16, and Allen is 14. They were all abused as children before they became abusers, themselves. In filmed interviews their faces are darkened. Though their stories bring understanding, there is little sympathy from viewers. Sexual crimes against juveniles, even those performed by other juveniles, are crimes society never forgives. Those involved in their prosecution, incarceration, treatment, and ultimate rehabilitation are interviewed. They are probation officers, a judge, district attorney, investigators, and doctors. They explain the cycle of victims becoming perpetrators and the very high rate of reoffense. The drama of the narrative intensifies, as the three must encounter a lie detector test to ensure they are revealing all of their offenses. The psychologists confront the juvenile offenders as part of their treatment. Though most allow smalls grains of the truth out, only full disclosure allows any kind of resolution. The films effective and arresting soundtrack is first rate, rare for a documentary. Healing is revealed when the three begin speaking of the future for the first time, and with hope. Giviní It Up treats difficult subject matters with sensitivity in a surprisingly engaging manner.