SPOTLIGHT tells the riveting true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation that would rock the city and cause a crisis in one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions. When the newspaper’s tenacious “Spotlight” team of reporters delves into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston's religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world. Directed by Academy Award-nominee Tom McCarthy, SPOTLIGHT is a tense investigative dramatic-thriller, tracing the steps to one of the biggest cover-ups in modern times.
What is the top news story you think about when you think of the year 2001? Of course that would be 911 and the Twin Towers coming down in New York. I remember New York Cardinal Edward Egan at the time and all of his prayers for the people and his tireless work officiating over the funerals of many fallen, especially the firemen.
But even before that story, there was a big one brewing in Boston that would involve the Catholic Church and its own Cardinal Bernard Law. 911 just caused it to take a backseat until early 2002. The producers of this film didn’t set out to make a movie about the scandal itself but about the journalistic team that fought to bring this story to light.
Spotlight, if you don’t know, is the name of the investigative department of the Boston Globe that broke the massive scandal of sexual abuse and child molestation by Catholic priests and the Catholic Church’s cover up of said scandal. In Boston, Massachusetts, a predominately Catholic town, you don’t call it the Catholic Church, it’s simply the Church and there is nothing simple about it. The Church has its hand in everything and everyone respects the Church. So imagine a four person investigative team taking on the Church. Not an easy decision and not something they went looking for. In all truthfulness, they were practically pushed in that direction but wow, did it take over their lives as they got down to the bottom of the story and when I say bottom, I mean scum bottom. There is a quote from the movie that stuck with me, “if it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one”.
The cast in this film is what first made me interested in a movie whose name didn’t mean anything to me. You’ve got Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci just to name a few. What an accomplished bunch. Boston has some beautiful old architecture and incredibly beautiful churches but what went on behind the doors of those beautiful churches was horrendous. They blew the roof off the archdiocese and took down a very powerful Cardinal who knew it all and swept it all under the rug. Cine Marcos mentioned to me at the end of the film how these are the kind of scandals that make some turn away from the church. I can see that, but without getting on a soap box, it’s not GOD or the church that committed these atrocities, it was people, monsters you might say, who abused their position and power over the most helpless. I was a small child myself when it happened to me within the walls of a church and I am thankful that my faith did not waiver, but I don’t blame those who turned away. Every one deals differently.
The thing is this is a serious movie. It’s not a feel good film and you have to come to it knowing that this is some heavy stuff but if you are a fan of truth, a fan of investigative journalism or true scandal, this is the film to go see.
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