This week has seen the premiere of Schapelle Corby: The Hidden Truth, a documentary detailing the incarceration and trial of one Schapelle Leigh Corby, a woman defended and derided in equal measure in Australia and abroad.
The documentary uses undercover footage from inside Kerobokan Prison, Bali, where Schapelle has been since being found guilty of drug trafficking in 2005, as well as behind-the-scenes interviews and glimpses of the legal team and her family. Schapelle Corby: The Hidden Truth will probably be described as 'warts and all' but the truth is far more complex and so much less aesthetically pleasing.
The guilt or otherwise of Schapelle aside, the documentary gives us an inside glimpse of a family out of their depth and mired in their own vortex of self-induced hopelessness. The Corbys are apparently described in the promotional material for the series in the US as 'a family who couldn't find their way to the beach, much less around the Balinese legal system' and that's about the most polite thing you could say about them.
Schapelle's father Michael is another larger than life and excruciating to watch character, that kind of bombastic bogan who decided early in life the best way to make people listen was to enunciate each word like it hurt to say it. He glares menacingly into the camera and declares 'weeee nevah fucken saaaaaaw the baaaaag. No-one fucken tooooouched iiiiit' in the most exagerated way possible. I'm thinking if this is the tactic he took in interrogation rooms it's no wonder he gets busted every time he takes a wrong step.
His wild-eyed hoarse rants are cut short only once by a self-conscious Mercedes who makes the very canny decision to ask the camera crew to stop filming: it's the last we see of Michael, who passed away earlier this year and the image we're left with is a self-described ratbag who has probably been described as far worse by associates and family, and deservedly so. His appearance in the documentary wouldn't help change the minds of the growing number of Australian re-forming their opinions about Schapelle Corby's guilt.
Early on he admits being the carefree type who often 'went out for milk and didn't come back for two weeks'; watching him and the rest of the Corbys you realise what Schapelle's been up against from the start.
Me, I've never really been into the Corby case. It seemed to me that she was either incredibly stupid or incredibly guilty, and perhaps both. Personally, I think any jail sentence slapped on you for the possession of pot is a little on the harsh side, but at the same time, there was something about Schapelle and her family that just stopped me from having any sympathy for her (or them). Sympathy translates to interest for me, since, if I don't like something, I tend to just skip it. In reading Lynda's write up, however, I had a sudden realisation of knowing that, yeah, it was the site of her family that led me to disinterest: their denial of legitimate help and instead turning to Crazy Ron's mobile phone guy just seemed to strike me as an almost admittance to guilt, and the whole thing just had the look of a train wreck happening, and which would end up in tragedy. Which, ultimately, it has--by the time 2024 rolls around, a lot of life will be done, and you don't get those years back.
Anyhow, what you want to do is follow the link and read Lynda's piece on it, for it is both insightful and funny, and explains why you should be reading her blog if you're not.