- The documentary tells the story of Jan Broberg being kidnapped by a family friend at age 12 – and then again at age 14.
- The documentary is filled with new twists, secrets, and shocking moments, as well as recent interviews from the Broberg family.
- The true crime story is consistently described as “stranger than fiction.”
Whether you’ve seen the passionate reaction tweets from viewers or just scrolled past the title on Netflix a few hundred times, if you’ve been online you’ve probably heard something or other about the new documentary that began airing on the streaming service this January.
True crime stories are ever-popular, but “Abducted in Plain Sight” manages to stand out, even despite its being added to Netflix in such a close timeframe with the also-popular true crime docu-series “The Ted Bundy Tapes,” about the notorious serial killer.
One possible reason this documentary stands out is that the crime’s main victim, Jan Broberg, appears as an interview subject. We know she has survived the events that occurred, so the suspense isn’t around what happened but rather how it happened. And rather than merely a voiceless girl in a picture, Jan is present to speak for herself.
Here’s what you should know about “Abducted in Plain Sight” and why it has many frustrated viewers glued to the edge of their seats.
The documentary, directed by Skye Borgman, tells the story of a crime that happened “in plain sight”
“Abducted in Plain Sight” tells the story of how in the 1970s, Jan Broberg – now an actress who you may have seen in “Iron Man 3,” “Criminal Minds,” and more – was abducted by a trusted neighbour and family friend named Robert Berchtold at age 12 and then again at age 14.
The documentary has been referred to by some as “stranger than fiction” and it’s easy to tell why.
Without spoiling too much, the story is one of a trusting family that has been manipulated by a family friend who was fixated on their daughter. But the story isn’t quite so simple and it’s filled with lies, denial, schemes, and nearly unbelievable twists.
Lucas Mirabella of LA TV and FILM called the documentary “disturbing at times, infuriating at others,” which seems to reflect how many viewers have responded. Jamie Lee Curtis Taete, a reporter at Vice, also dubbed it “one of the wildest, most frustrating films [he has] ever seen.”
Of course, to understand exactly what happened and how it happened, you’ve just got to watch the film.
The documentary features reenactments of the harrowing events as well as recent interviews with the Broberg family, including Jan
The documentary is a mixture of realistic-looking reenactments of the events that transpired as well as harrowing interviews from Jan, her family, and other individuals who were involved in the case.
From the film’s beginning, it’s impressed upon viewers that the Brobergs and their neighbours and friends, the Berchtolds, were living an idyllic suburban life in Idaho, the kind where “nobody locks their door,” surrounded by their trusted church community.
As the horrific events unravel in the documentary, it’s clear that there’s a lot to this story. At one point, false threats from aliens are used as a cruel manipulation tactic. At other points, affairs, sexual favours, and crossed paths are revealed that once again throw off viewers who thought they’d had the case cracked.
With the witness testimony and FBI documentation, the events portrayed in the documentary are still shocking
It’s this hard-to-believe factor that has viewers hooked on the documentary about how someone close to a family can manipulate and scheme his way into their lives. Although the evidence is presented throughout the film, many who watched seemed to still be in shock at how the harrowing events took place.
With real-life interviews with the Broberg family, realistic reenactments of the past events, and secrets revealed at every turn, the documentary has kept many on the edge of their seat.
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