Anorak News | Madeleine McCann: Prudent Kate And Gerry McCann Still Have Two Kids Left

Madeleine McCann: Prudent Kate And Gerry McCann Still Have Two Kids Left

by | 11th, November 2009

gonebabygonepic3MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann:  In a piece entitled “Madeleine McCann’s Siblings, Sky News’ Colin Brazier delivers an article which blends fact with fiction to produce something opportunistic, hideous that should offer Kate And Gerry McCann no little comfort:

Just over two years ago the release of the film Gone Baby Gone was allegedly postponed because of parallels with the case of Madeleine McCann.

Not alleged. This is what we learnt from Affleck on October 12, 2007:

“Disney UK made the decision to postpone the movie but I absolutely support it and I’m pleased by what I think is erring on the side of good taste. There’s no rush. It’s obviously a sensitive time and if there are any similarities we can wait to distribute the movie in the UK. I was only vaguely aware of the Madeleine case because it wasn’t a big thing here in the United States. Maybe I’m out of it because I don’t read many newspapers, but I didn’t really know much about it until somebody said, ‘Hey, there may be some similarities’.”

Anyone traumatised by Afflecks’s performance in car accident movie Changing Lanes, who is a devout Christian and found Dogma offensive or who fears impending Armageddon can applaud Ben’s actions.

The Times told us:

However, in the wake of the Madeleine McCann case, this adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s 1998 novel was withdrawn from this year’s Times/bfi London Film Festival because of its sensitive subject matter, and may never be released in the UK”

The film was released. Child abuse was delivered as a form of entertainment. And Affleck told us:

Affleck: What has happened to Madeleine McCann is terrible and it was the right decision to wait until now before bringing out the film, as we didn’t want to upset the family.

Affleck: “I worked with the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children [which is involved in the search for Madeleine McCann] and I found out about the extent of child abuse internationally. It is horrifying.

Affleck: “Sometimes, abuse is as simple as leaving your kids in front of the TV all day and thinking that it is sufficient parenting.”

Back to Brazier and “Madeleine McCann’s siblings”:

It was felt the movie, which tells the fictional story of the abduction of a four-year-old girl, was too close to real life. Although written before Madeleine McCann’s abduction [sic], Gone Baby Gone contained some inadvertent but nonetheless [sic] extraordinarily coincidental material. The plot focuses on a 4-year-old played by an actress – actually called Madeleine – who shows an uncanny resemblance to the real Madeleine McCann. I watched the film six months ago and was quite staggered by how accidentally art had imitated life.

You mean to say that stories can be based on real life events, and fears? Brazier then introduces readers to more works of fiction:

Child abduction has been dealt with by artists before. In his 1987 novel The Child In Time, Ian McEwan writes about the disappearance of a three year old. The scene where the father loses sight of his daughter in a supermarket, while momentarily distracted, never to see her again, is brilliantly wrought.

How does it end, Colin?

Both stories have different endings. In the film the child is found alive and well. In the book the child is never found and the mystery is never solved. But the book does offer one answer.

And in Maddie’s story? What happens?

Mercifully, such abductions are as rare now as they were fifty years ago (it’s only our paranoia which has increased). But the phenomenon of couples destroyed by the loss of an only-child may be on the rise.

Anyone following his argument. Child abduction in books is rare. But many one-child couples break up. Are these parents in the real world or in books? Is there a difference? Is it all just a form of entertainment?

Think of some recent high-profile cases.


Tragic parents like Neil and Kazumi Puttick. In June, they leapt to their deaths from Beachy Head, clutching the body of their five-year-old son Sam. He had died of meningitis the week before and his parents were crippled with grief. Or parents like 40-year-old Joanna Coombs. Last year, her body was found on the same tracks where her daughter – and only child – had died two months before.

These are real parents whose tragedies are placed in the context of works of fiction. And what do they have to do with Madeleine McCann or her siblings, the twin or which there are, er, two?

It stands to reason that when parents put all their eggs in one all-too-fragile basket, the loss of that child may prove insupportable. Previous generations understood that a larger family provided a shield against the loss of a singleton. In the words of Churchill’s famous, if callous, dictum: “One for mother, one for father, one for increase and one for accidents“.

Anyone else feeling sick? Lucky the McCanns had a couple of children left over, then. Good news. How prudent of them to bring three children into the world. It might well be what has kept them going, and alive. You want more from Brazier? Here goes:

When tragedy strikes a multi-child family, parents are more likely to carry on for those who remain, no matter how grief-stricken they are.

How much more likely? More likely than the McCanns or less likely than the cast of Schindler’s List?

Some social scientists already fret about how the rise of the only child is changing society. One talks about the ‘Saving Private Ryan’ effect. The fictional Private Ryan was the only one of four brothers to survive the battle for Normandy in 1944. Would a modern parent be so sanguine about an only-child fighting for his or her country?

Answers in the form of a work of fiction.

That’s a choice few will have to make. But many will make much more quotidian decisions about danger. It is one reason why so many modern children are not permitted to take risks of almost any description.

Fact and fiction. Can you spot the difference?

Posted: 11th, November 2009 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann Comments (7) | TrackBack | Permalink