In their hometown alternative weekly, The Austin Chronicle, John and Janet Pierson talk about the reactions to the release of “Reel Paradise”:
The disapproval has been way more about me than the family. And it’s been more about the perceived politics of the film, my colonial stunt, quote-unquote, than about my personal character. I am who I am in the film, and there’s not much I can say about that. I’ll let a jury of my peers decide. But the political argument, the “colonial stunt” argument, is quite upsetting to me because I think an inherent flaw in the movie itself is that it leads people down that road. Steve, I think correctly and justifiably, is proud of raising questions, but I don’t think that he perhaps answers those questions fully and completely, and without complete context in the movie, maybe it hangs me out to dry on a certain level. … But then, I think there’s a standard documentary device, of presenting the one hand and on the other hand, with one person saying this and another saying that, and then you choose, and viewers who don’t watch that closely can be very selective in terms of what they pay attention to. And they’ll tend to give more weight to what they expect or want to hear.