In 1977, former Wyoming beauty queen Joyce McKinney made headlines when she was arrested by British authorities for abduction, following a whirlwind weekend with ex-fiancé and Mormon missionary Kirk Anderson. She insisted the rendezvous began as a rescue operation to save her beloved from his brainwashing church elders, but Kirk alleged kidnapping and sexual enslavement. This bizarre, salacious story captivated the tabloids both here and in Britain, and it's easy to see why. The film uses archival footage and lively recent interviews with McKinney to revisit the incendiary incident, the media frenzy that ensued, and all that's happened since.
Acclaimed filmmaker Errol Morris delves into this colorful, stranger-than-fiction mystery without taking sides, and allowing the inherent humor and absurdity of the story shine through. He cleverly plays up the saga's more sensational aspects through the use of pop-art-like newspaper graphics and dramatic sound bites, which ultimately makes us confront both our own fascination with scandal, and the subjective nature of truth. Errol also puts the modern-day McKinney on full display here. Is she truly nuts, or just a crafty, unabashed self-promoter? Did she or didn't she sexually abuse the manacled missionary? Scoop up this offbeat, thoroughly entertaining film, and decide for yourself.