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Production Company: BBC TV
Producer: Linda Garman
Series Editor: Jana Bennett
Narrator: Claire Walmsley
This shocking, strange, sad, and haunting documentary on possibly the greatest case of child abuse in U.S. history (of children that survived) was produced by the BBC in 1994. A version was afterwards arranged for viewing in the U.S. with Stacy Keach as the narrator. This is the original BBC version.
"Genie," who was discovered in California in 1970 at the age of thirteen, had spent nearly her entire life tied to a potty in a back room of her parents' house. She could not talk and was completely unsocialised. At the time, researchers helped her to learn to communicate using sounds and signs, and used her to test scientific theories, attempting to salvage what they could of her totally deprived cognitive, social, emotional, and linguistics skills. Meanwhile, infighting and rivalries among the researchers, Genie's blind and deranged mother, and of course American lawyers produced what Russ Rymer on his book about Genie called "a scientific tragedy."
The technical quality is only fair, and I would gladly cede this torrent to anyone with a better quality copy, but the story is so compelling and disturbing and unforgettable that I hope you will forgive the less than HDTV [it wasn't around then] quality of the documentary. Much of the documentary, in any event, is numerous homemade film clips of people working with Genie, and interviews with the people involved in Genie's life, so that the lesser quality is not as significant as it might otherwise be.
There is a lot of other information about Genie I can supply to anyone who is interested.
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