In 1993, Broken Rites Australia began researching — and exposing — the Catholic Church's sex-abuse cover-ups throughout Australia. Ten years later, in 2002 and 2003, the Boston Globe newspaper revealed similar cover-ups in the United States. Now, people can see the Boston story told in a major film, Spotlight, which is being released in Australian cinemas on 28 January 2016.
In the United States, where Spotlight was released in cinemas in November 2015, it is being hailed as one of the best movies of 2015.
In late January 2016, Australian newspapers have begun publishing reviews of Spotlight.
In a review for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age, Paul Byrnes writes:
"Wisely, the movie is not about child abuse. It's about how a newspaper, The Boston Globe, had the guts to go after the Catholic Church in a town full of Catholics, knowing that their own heavily Catholic readership would not like it. It's about the way the Catholic Church, a powerful institution in Boston (as everywhere), tried to conceal the knowledge that almost 250 of its priests were implicated in child sexual abuse – some of them repeatedly, in other dioceses, before they were given new positions supervising children in Boston...
" This is one of the better films about what good, hard, deep reporting is like: the long hours, frustrations and knockbacks, the team work and dead ends, the occasional moments of luck and reward. We see here why investigative reporting costs so much and takes so long. We see how hard it is, in emotional terms, to challenge institutions that the reporters themselves may hold in high regard. Most of the reporters are, or were, raised Catholic. So are many of the actors and this director."
In a review for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age, Stephanie Bunbury writes:
"Spotlight is about a real-life team of investigative reporters at the Boston Globe who worked for months to document and finally reveal the cover-up by the local Catholic church of the sexual abuse of children by priests. ..
" Many of these priests' victims had reported their attackers to the Church hierarchy and to the law. Some won small pay-outs in exchange for non-disclosure agreements. Apart from the cases the Globe had already reported, all were swept under the rug one way or another. Their investigations led back to the cardinal, who is shown in the film to have presided over the cover-up and resigned at the end of 2002..."
Comment by Broken Rites:
When will there be a movie about what Broken Rites began revealing in Australia in 1993 (ten years before the Boston Globe's exposures)?