Documentary film-maker Broomfield has a knack of catching life in the raw, and it's not always a pretty sight. Hence, Juvenile Liaison was banned fifteen years ago for undermining the image of the friendly bobby. Blackburn is the setting and some pre-teen kids are the subjects. Seven-year-old Glen, accused of stealing a cowboy suit, quakes with fear before a bullying, burly sergeant, and one little girl is given the third degree over a missing apple. The 'seen and not heard' axiom is brought disturbingly to life. This updated version includes footage shot in Blackburn in 1989 in which the original 'juveniles' are traced to discover what scars their 'liaisons' with authority may have left. Depressingly, the grown-up kids have inherited the same misguided attitudes towards children. Bristling with characteristic Broomfield tension, the film's interest goes beyond its content. Compare the anguish of the original footage with the latent irony of the additional scenes. Broomfield has picked up a black sense of humour along the way.
Nicholas Broomfield, Joan Churchill
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