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by Helen Belli (subscribe)
I am now living in Kariong on the Central Coast
Published February 15th 2016
Unreported crimes by men in powerful positions
No organisation is too powerful to tackle, even when well-meaning citizens try their best to block your path.

So it was with the 'Spotlight' team at the Boston Globe in 2002. This was a special team who exposed sensational stories of interest to the readers. A new editor [played by Lieu Schreiber] arrives determined to make his mark with a scandal that had been explored years before, then shelved because of lack of evidence.

Their work starts with a report about one paedophile Priest within the Catholic Church. It is based on a book and written and directed by Tom McCarthy and disturbingly, it is based on fact, not fiction.



At first, the team have difficulty gaining the corporation of victims, lawyers and everybody connected with the church. However good journalism is about in depth investigation and persistence. The movie doesn't focus on long court cases, but dogged digging and a lot of good luck by reporters who reveal an awful truth. No police investigation ever takes place and in Boston alone, cases of criminal behaviour by 86 priests are gradually revealed.

It is no spoiler to say that people in Australian [and indeed in many parts of the world] are very aware of the way the church has been covering up these crimes. Priests are moved from parish to parish and Bishops are sent to Rome to prevent further questioning. Archbishop Pell, we are told, is too sick to travel to face the tribunal which is currently underway to investigate the depth of this problem at home.

The cast, including Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams, are outstanding as they overcome all the road blocks thrown in their path by, not only by the church, but the citizens of Boston.

This is a powerful film worthy of the nomination for the best film of the year. Stay for the credits at the end of the film; many of the statistics flashed onto the screen will amaze and shock. One quote that will never be forgotten; 'They knew and they let it happen'
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