Discussing a Donald Friend documentary

I haven’t seen Kerry Negara’s documentary A Loving Friend, in which she deals with the Australian artist Donald Friend’s (1915-1989) supposed sex crimes against boys in Bali. However, I found this review and the discussion that follows it interesting. The reviewer Lauren Bliss shows that the film’s sensationalist approach might work against it:

My questioning of his guilt came from watching a film where Friend was painted to be completely evil and the art critics who supported him to be bumbling fools. […] From this, I found it nearly impossible to digest any of the facts presented by Negara as truthful […]

Most interesting though, isn’t the discussion about Friend’s guilt or the film’s aesthetics, but what the film’s script editor John Doggett-Williams¬†writes:

If you have any pride in your work or want to gain some credibility withdraw your original review from publication.

Such demands from the filmmakers make me listen even more to the reviewer. In any case, I would like to see the film.

(The picture is a drawing by Donald Friend of Dolog, a teenager boy he met in 1967. From The Diaries of Donald Friend, Volume 4, page 26.)