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Jessie’s Dad (2011)
5 (2 votes)

Jessie’s Dad (2011)


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Jessie’s Dad is a 2011 documentary film by Boaz Dvir, that tells the story of Mark Lunsford’s transformation from an uneducated truck driver to a child activist after the murder of his daughter Jessica by a convicted child molester.

The hour-long documentary follows Lunsford as he visits Capitol Hill and state capitols to urge lawmakers to wise up and crack down on child predators. The film offers a behind-the-scenes look at a single father haunted by the knowledge that a child molester held his daughter within earshot for three days.

Jessie’s Dad was initially funded by a Carole Fielding Production Grant, along with a University of Florida research grant. Mark Lunsford, his parents and several other members of his family attended the 2008 screening of Jessie’s Dad at the University of Florida. Lunsford and the film received two standing ovations from a packed theater. Green Apple Entertainment is distributing Jessie’s Dad, which is available from iTunes and Amazon, where it has received an average rating of 5 (the highest possible). Lifetime and Investigation Discovery have used a substantial amount of Jessie’s Dad footage in their programs. The film has screened in several film festivals, where it has won top prizes, and prestigious venues, including Columbia University’s satellite campus in Paris.

Dvir reflected on the film years later in an article in the Centre Daily Times: “As a documentary filmmaker, I change my mind about societal issues related to my projects much like kids experience growth — I only notice it months, sometimes years, later. Directing and producing “Jessie’s Dad” […] altered my point of view on mandatory sentencing.”

You can switch the movie to HD at the bottom of the player (HD label)

IMDB (8.6)

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  • Talia Chiariello

    Jessie’s Dad was a touching documentary that focused on all aspects of Mr. Lunsford’s life after the death of his daughter, Jessie. The movie is segmented into chapters of his life to give the audience the full view of all the problems surrounding the death of his daughter, Jessie. There were many things that I liked about the documentary including: the use of the clips from the trial, the use of confession tapes and the use of news clips because they showed the ripple effects from one incident; the death of Mr. Lunsford’s child. The utilization of these clips left me, as an audience member, thinking about the changes that our country needs to make to protect the innocent lives of children. I was left feeling connected to Mr. Lunsford, his struggle, and his need to do more for children.