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Parents' Guide to

Abducted: The Carlina White Story

By Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

True kidnapping story is intense but not sensationalized.

Movie NR 2013 90 minutes
Abducted: The Carlina White Story Poster Image

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This film takes a difficult subject and resists easy sensationalizing or, worse, race or class stereotypes that would render the characters in this film all victims, all saints, or all monsters. Instead, you get a surprisingly nuanced look at what it might be like to suffer the loss of a child to kidnapping, the discovery of one's own identity as a missing person, or the grief of multiple miscarriages, substance abuse, and troubled existence that might lead to committing a horrible crime such as kidnapping.

The facts here are sensational enough on their own, and although there are some intense emotional scenes and one brief scene of illegal drug use, what emerges is a portrait of the complex mix of grief and anger that this case produced, keeping the focus on how White could reconcile her feelings for the woman who simultaneously stole her life and loved her like her own child. There are mature themes here but a lot of good discussion potential about what it looks like when a TV network known for lurid storytelling takes a subtler approach.

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