Sunday, October 22, 2017

imagineNATIVE 17 Film Review - Indictment

Want to be model Paris Dunn liked the persona of Denver Nugget player Chris Birdman Andersen. She liked his look so she sent him a message on his Facebook page. Then to her surprise she received a response. That began an online relationship that escalated to nude photos being exchanged followed by a ticket to Denver to vista the basketball star. In Denver some of the conversations did not match the information that had been exchanged online. Once back home her exchanges with Andersen's friend Tom Taylor who had encouraged her to go on the trip changed to aggressive and threatening. Paris panicked and told her mom who called cops. Birdman's house was raided then the police went thorough all of the prior conversations to find that the originated from a small town of Easterville, Manitoba at the hope of Shelly Chartier.

Chartier lived as a shut in caring for her bedridden mother for the past decade. She dropped out of school at age 12 due to bullying with a real fear of interacting with people. So when she saw online this girl Paris looking for attention on Birdman's Facebook page. She made a fake profile to say Hey to her. Followed by a text to Chris putting the two together through her. She also created the Tom Taylor persona to move the action along. What she thought was a harmless prank let to the RCMP at her door, guilty plea and a 12-month jail sentence. Interested parties in the US were not happy with the plea leaving open the possibility of a much stiffer sentence if she heads stateside.

Directors Shane Belcourt and Lisa Jackson delve into the background circumstances that brought Shelly Cartier to this point. The earliest evidence dates back to 1962-63 when Manitoba Hydro flooded the old reserve that had lush land to grow vegetables waters to fish and soil to build proper homes.  Their new location is built on rock.  Leaving the former self sufficient Cree Nation facing  high unemployment and lack of prospects. Experts also discuss the Gladue Sentencing Principles that were not considered in this case. The principals consider status of Aboriginals as they are overrepresented in Canadian Prisons and backgrounds could include unemployment, lack of opportunities, little education, substance abuse, loneliness and community fragmentation.

Indictment gives a different look at Shelly Charier aka Manitoba's Master Manipulator or Ghost of Easterville. It shows a reclusive young woman who launched a catfish scheme on an NBA star amongst other alleged celebrities out of boredom and loneliness.  It's unclear if she made any money off of her actions that left her with a criminal record but her online activity did lead to a boyfriend turned husband which has hopefully broken her spell of being alone.

*** 1/2 Out of 4.

Indictment | Shane Belcourt / Lisa Jackson | Canada | 2017 | 44 Minutes.

Tags: Catfishing, Birdman Andersen, Paris Dunn, Easterville, Manitoba, Denver Nuggets, Chemawawin Cree Nation, Cedar Lake, Call of Duty.

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