Netflix has done it again with The Search, delivering an international true-crime story so awful it’ll unite everyone in disgust and discussion.
This review of The Search (Netflix) is spoiler-free.
There are some stories that you just know are going to capture the public’s attention, and the one detailed in The Search, Netflix’s new six-part international true-crime drama, is a prime example. It tells the true story of Paulette Gebara Farah, a four-year-old Mexican girl with learning disabilities who vanished during the night and was found dead in her bedroom nine days later, under blankets at the end of the bed.
A dramatization of this deeply weird and suspicious case, The Search is interested more in possibilities than facts – or at least the possibilities that the facts create. Despite a tireless community effort, Paulette wasn’t found quickly. Her mother, Lizette Farah, claimed to have put her to bed as normal, and her nanny, Ericka, claimed to have entered the room the next morning and found her gone. There were no signs of forced entry or struggle. Paulette, because of her learning disabilities, couldn’t leave the house alone. The family dogs didn’t bark. The CCTV recorded nobody coming or going.
How, then, did this happen? That’s the central dramatic question of The Search, and it’s one that’ll keep viewers, especially true-crime aficionados, riveted across six episodes. The usual elements of public interest and unanswered questions are strongly felt throughout, and the overwhelming sense is of a crime left unsolved.
These kinds of true-crime stories are nothing new to Netflix, a platform that boasts easily the strongest library of such series’ and films. The Search fits neatly among them as another example of the tragedies – or perhaps deeply heinous actions – that occur all over the world, and the failings that can all too often lead to the truth being buried along with innocent four-year-old girls.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.