The Jaundiced Eye

2000, Documentary, 1h 30m

11 Reviews 100+ Ratings

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Movie Info

This documentary covers the plight of Stephen Matthews and his father, Melvin. Both were originally -- and wrongly -- sentenced to 35 years in prison for molesting Stephen's 5-year-old son. There was no physical evidence, and a chlamydia test was used as forensic verification, an improper use of the procedure. The latter leads to the Matthews' early release, but when the prosecution itches to put them on trial again, father and son must try to free themselves from misguided legal zealotry.

Cast & Crew

Nonny de la Pena
Director
Nonny de la Pena
Writer

Critic Reviews for The Jaundiced Eye

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (11)

  • AS forceful as the docu is in presenting the facts, some disturbing questions linger: was the boy (who's now 15) indoctrinated or brainwashed by his mother? How did he live with that knowledge and lack of communication with father's family for a decade?

    November 9, 2006 | Rating: B
  • A terrific documentary.

    January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The Jaundiced Eye is a passionate, angry piece of advocacy, but it is equally, and in consequence, a brave and necessary act of truth-telling.

    January 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The finest element in de la Pena's carefully assembled account is how she doesn't simply state the obvious, but lets the meaty facts speak for themselves.

    January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • [Illustrates] some valuable points about how a personal prejudice can spill over into harmful, seamlessly delusional behavior, and how the high emotions inextricably entwined with a subject like child abuse can prove ultimately self-defeating.

    January 1, 2000
  • Sheds light on some limitations in our legal system and how a little prejudice can go a long way. You get the sense of helplessness and frustration the Matthew's lived with...a compelling documentary.

    May 23, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • AS forceful as the docu is in presenting the facts, some disturbing questions linger: was the boy (who's now 15) indoctrinated or brainwashed by his mother? How did he live with that knowledge and lack of communication with father's family for a decade?

    November 9, 2006 | Rating: B
  • A terrific documentary.

    January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The Jaundiced Eye is a passionate, angry piece of advocacy, but it is equally, and in consequence, a brave and necessary act of truth-telling.

    January 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The finest element in de la Pena's carefully assembled account is how she doesn't simply state the obvious, but lets the meaty facts speak for themselves.

    January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Sheds light on some limitations in our legal system and how a little prejudice can go a long way. You get the sense of helplessness and frustration the Matthew's lived with...a compelling documentary.

    May 23, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • An eye-opening look at the possibility of an accused pedophile's innocence ... it is a compelling caution against quick judgements made without benefit of all the facts

    April 10, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Jaundiced Eye

  • Feb 27, 2012
    The Jaundiced Eye is hard to watch, primarily because of how graphic alleged sex acts against a child turn out to be. However, that is one of the doc's strong points: the father and grandfather accused to molesting a five-year-old are not scared of putting their truth on the record. The same can't be said of the boy's mother or her new husband: she stays in the shadows and he is only heard through recorded testimony. I wonder why they don't want to stand in their truth. Now, we will never know exactly what happened to the boy, but the information which shows the accused are innocent begins to stack up methodically, through interviews with expert lawyers, doctors and counselors. The film has a definite point of view, but also makes sure to hear from those with a dissenting point of view. Lower production values be damned: this is a quality doc that tells a harrowing story, even if some points are not followed up on.
    Jason V Super Reviewer
  • Feb 15, 2010
    A very difficult documentary to find but nonetheless, a rewarding one that calls into question the concept of justice.
    John B Super Reviewer

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