Tabloid

I've often wondered how documentarians settle on their subjects. The subject has to be of personal and, at least to some degree, public interest and there must be enough "story" to capture an audience's imagination. In the case of Errol Morris's Tabloid -- the fantastic (in the sense of mind-boggling) story of Joyce McKinney, a former beauty queen who was accused in the late '70s of kidnapping her Mormon boyfriend and forcing him into a weekend of sexual slavery -- the subject matter is riveting, like a Barnum and Bailey carnival attraction. It's so outlandish, in fact, that this tale of sexual exploitation, religious zealotry, and international intrigues simply MUST be true. Or, as my friend said as the credits rolled, "You can't make this shit up." McKinney, who provides most of the narration of her sad tale, is quite possibly mad, which of course is sad, but at the same time she is absolutely captivating. A guilty pleasure but a pleasure nonetheless.

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