The Jaundiced Eye

  • 2000
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Documentary

Fascinating on a number of levels, and deeply disturbing through and through. The title is taken from a quote by Alexander Pope: "All seems infected that th' infected spy/As all seems yellow to the jaundiced eye." In the harrowing case of Stephen Matthews, a young Monroe, MI, man who, along with his parents, was accused of sexually molesting his own son,...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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Fascinating on a number of levels, and deeply disturbing through and through. The title is taken from a quote by Alexander Pope: "All seems infected that th' infected spy/As all seems yellow to the jaundiced eye." In the harrowing case of Stephen Matthews, a

young Monroe, MI, man who, along with his parents, was accused of sexually molesting his own son, the infection that colors everything is the simple and seemingly unremarkable fact that Stephen is gay. As a teenager, Stephen fathered a child by then-girlfriend Danette; when he figured out he was

gay, Stephen moved to California and left Danette and his own parents, Melvin and Donna, to raise the child. A few years later, Danette's new boyfriend began noticing "strange" behavior in the boy: After coming home from his grandparents, he would change the channel on the TV without asking. He even

had nightmares. Clearly something was wrong, and accusations began to fly. Before long, Danette, her boyfriend and the five-year-old child accused first Melvin, then Donna and Stephen, of sexual abuse. What follows is a nightmare of bizarre allegations; leading questions asked of an impressionable

child; faulty medical testing; and prosecutors, expert witnesses and a jury all too-willing to believe the worst about a family without a shred of corroborating evidence. What sets this case apart from others in which individual lives are destroyed in the crusade to protect children from abuse

(real and imagined) is how heavily Stephen Matthews's homosexuality factored into his eventual conviction. Filmmaker Nonny de la Pena uses the prosecution's obvious equation of homosexuality with sexual deviance as the focal point for this sensitive documentary, which also explores the ways in

which our desire to protect children from evil has reached hysterical proportions, and serves as a fitting testament to one family's courage in the face of justice gone horribly awry.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Fascinating on a number of levels, and deeply disturbing through and through. The title is taken from a quote by Alexander Pope: "All seems infected that th' infected spy/As all seems yellow to the jaundiced eye." In the harrowing case of Stephen Matthews,… (more)

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