Criticism: Criticism Of “Jeffrey Epstein: Disgustingly Rich” (“Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich”), Series Of Lisa Bryant (Netflix)


The series linked to the subgenre of true-crime are booming and this investigation and reconstruction of the case of the magnetic and perverse billionaire add to a trend becoming ever more popular.

Jeffrey Epstein: Disgustingly rich (Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, United States/2020). Address: Lisa Bryant. Duration: four episodes of almost an hour each. Available on Netflix.

In the last hours, the case of Jeffrey Epstein became news not just for the premiere of this documentary in that strong resonance box which is Netflix, but also because the organization of online activists Anonymous announced the list of dozens of rich and famous (read from politicians to entrepreneurs, passing by Comunidades and artists) that are listed in what is referred to as a “The Little Black Book of Jeffrey Epstein”. And not only that: they accused the very Donald Trump of being the instigator of the murder of the multimillion a pedophile.

According to the official version, Jeffrey Epstein was hanged on the 10th of August last (the day on which he had been 66 years) in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York, but there are many who have a theory different; that is to say, that he was killed not exposed to so many powerful people who were customers of its network of sex trafficking in the exploding especially to minors.

Jeffrey Epstein: Disgustingly rich tell us little or nothing of how this man born in Brooklyn and educated in the public school became not only a billionaire (at death his fortune was estimated at 578 million dollars, with private planes, an entire 7-story mansion on the Upper East Side valued at 77 million, another in Palm Beach, a luxurious ranch in New Mexico and the Little St. James Island in the Virgin Islands) but also in a figure so attractive to the VIP of the United States: from presidents, republicans and democrats (Bill Clinton and Donald Trump) to members of the royalty (prince Andrew, or the duchess Sarah Ferguson) were directly linked to Epstein in the first years of the 2000 decade.

What the documentary the debutante Lisa Bryant exposes in detail is the system assembled by Epstein to recruit minors (some as young as 14) from in many cases of low-income households and with problems affective to supply not only the personal consumption and his partner Ghislaine Maxwell but also of those rich and famous who used to frecuentarlo.

The device of the documentary is simple, basic, elementary, but powerful: dozens of testimonies of victims (“survivors”, as stated in the sockets), researchers, lawyers, and much archival material that reconstruct not only the media coverage but the miseries of a judicial system that tends to protect the powerful (the first allegations date back to 1996, and a secret agreement with the then prosecutor of Florida, Alex Acosta, allowed him to achieve in 2008 a penalty shorthand of just 13 months). In 2017, with the boom of the movement #MeToo, the case Epstein returned to the first flat, it cost him the post of secretary of Labor that Acosta had in the cabinet of Donald Trump, and set up a new legal process in the courts of New York that, even in part, did justice to those more than 40 girls who are abused that they had given testimony.

Those who closely followed the research ensure that Jeffrey Epstein: Disgustingly rich do not add too much, although for those who are not experts in the subject matter itself serves to have a good idea of one of the emblematic cases of the era of #MeToo, perhaps just behind Harvey Weinstein.

There are some leaves sensationalist and tabloid in the treatment of the case of Bryant, who it has been accused by some critics for not caring too much to the testimoniantesbut it is also true that it is very difficult not to fall into certain excesses morbid to a life story marked by the manipulation and perversion.

The presences as producers of the prolific and experienced Joe Berlinguer (Ted Bundy: Sleeping with the killer) and James Patterson (a novelist who wrote a non-fiction book about Epstein) gave the project the boost it needed to reach a good port. In the artistic field (namely in the technical, narrative, its focus, its scope, it’s editing, its music) does not go beyond the conventions and clichés of the good television news, but in its almost four hours and in his multiplicity of data, tracks, and testimonies enough to expose the reverse side of the American dream, those secrets, and lies of a society obsessed by power and fame, but also with their worst miseries and abuses.