Aptly named, Pervert Park follows a group of sex offenders who live in a trailer park (Florida Justice Transition) while adjusting to their new social statuses post-incarceration. The compound was first created by Nancy Morais’ desire to help her son find housing after he was deemed a sexual offender. What started as a solution to an individual problem grew into a communal asylum where there is a cultivated mutual understanding between the residents who live with as much freedom as they possibly can. They undergo group therapy, speak about probation, and even attend barbeques. Their broken backgrounds affixed together create a safe haven–far from idyllic yet the best that they can hope for.
A veteran resident, William Fuery, who helps maintain the park, is one of the more prominent subjects. His story, which includes a family tragedy and his own abuse from his parents and babysitter, contains a level of honesty, which arises only from years of self-examination, torment, and ultimately acceptance. Tracy Hutchinson’s gut-wrenching story also helps reinforce a familiar cyclical pattern that reappears throughout. Though there are different subjects, their collective willingness to share is so indicative to just how muted their voices are.
As first time directors, Frida and Lasse Barkfors approach their subjects generously. There is no shying away from details nor do they feel heightened for dramatic effect. Like the park itself, the Barkfors offer a safe platform for the offenders to share their stories as unadulterated as they come. The subjects are on their own personal journeys whether it be towards reconciliation or redemption.
Reviewed on January 28th at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival – World Cinema Documentary Competition – 77 Mins.