Welcome to our 2015 Festival Staff Picks column!
We’ll be posting some first looks at Festival Films to look out for on the 2015 Film Schedule. Check back to the AFF blog for new Staff Picks each week!
While watching Booger Red for the first time, I felt like I was experiencing the throes of a hormone problem. My emotions dashed between pure joy and utter disgust with such frequency that by the time the credits began to roll, I could do nothing but sit, firmly planted at the edge of my seat, and try to catch my breath. Even thinking about it now a week later, this film defies classification in my mind; the only thing I know for sure about Booger Red is that it is a masterpiece.
What is Booger Red? Good question. This part-documentary, part-narrative feature dances over the line between reality and fiction while grounding itself in the unfortunately true story of what has been called “the worst child-sex ring in Texas history.”
The film follows Onur Tukel as he investigates this controversial case and finds himself uncovering a conspiracy which is perhaps even darker than what it originally appeared to be. The documentary-style interviews are juxtaposed with Onur’s personal memories of his family and repressed memories of abuse to provide insight into a horrific phenomenon both legal and personal.
However bleak and reprehensible the subject matter, Booger Red manages to breath a healthy gust of humor into the film, mainly through the insanely likable character of Onur. His irreverence and self-deprecating jests managed to keep me laughing and upbeat in the face of a true-to-life child prostitution story.
Whether this is for better or for worse, I don’t know. But it is for certain that it’s part of what makes Booger Red such a remarkable work of cinema.
-Jake Palmer, Film Department Intern
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Booger Red is an explosive example of cinematic “new journalism” that re-examines the facts surrounding one of the state’s most horrific cases of alleged child sex rings.”
– The Austin Chronicle