Last night on Netflix I watched Deliver Us from Evil and what a shocking experience it was. I enjoy documentaries on a variety of topics and this one about the Catholic Church sex abuse scandals is one of the most moving and disturbing films I have ever had the painful experience of watching. It’s a movie that will make your heart bleed and your blood turn cold but it’s a story I think everyone should hear. The press has covered the scandals but Amy Berg is the first to truly tell the story from the victims in a fair and balanced way with the details that are so often glossed over in the press.
This unsettling Oscar-nominated documentary from filmmaker Amy Berg investigates the life of 30-year pedophile Father Oliver O’Grady and exposes the corruption inside the Catholic Church that allowed him to abuse countless children. Victims’ stories and a disturbing and in depth interview with Father O’Grady offer a view into the troubled mind of the Catholic Priest who moved from parish to parish gaining trust … all the while betraying so many.
Director Amy Berg has done something that is so difficult to do in that she has told a story that is both stomach turning and the epitome of all evil while doing it in a tasteful and unbiased fashion. A lot of journalists and films that have covered this distressing story have painted the catholic church as an evil and diabolical machine that is more concerned with covering up its transgressions than protecting the innocent children in its congregations. I won’t deny that after watching this film I have complete disdain for the new Pope and the hierarchy of the catholic chuch but Amy Berg has very carefully delivered an important story that everyone should know without casting the entire Catholic Church into one boat of undeniable evil. What happened was evil and Amy Berg shells out the hard hitting facts but also reminds us that as disgusted as we are the Catholic church preyed on its own and Catholics are all victims in one way or another.
When stories like this come out and get featured in documentaries its often hard to cast the entire true picture without villanizing an entire religious group and Amy Berg through her choice of subjects and the way she tells the story manages to tell a powerful story without bringing unwarranted disrespect on the catholic religion as a whole.
All churches have their issues and the pedophilia that has happened to tens of thousands of Catholic Children is wrong but is also not a reflection of the church as a whole even if the documentary is capable of tracing the evil, the conspiracy and the cover up all the way to the top. Amy Berg includes not just victims but also members of the Catholic Church hierarchy and theologians who feel just as you and I do that this is not only wrong but that the clear absence of justice in the church is wrong as well.
As Amy Berg traces the story in Deliver us From Evil from the opening to the final scenes at the Vatican and its refusal to aid the victims you will find your heart breaking and many questions will race through your mind number one of those being, where is the justice?
Deliver us From Evil will make you angry, will make you question your own beliefs, catholic or not, and will most certainly educate you on not just the church but theology and the belief structure itself. I am not a Catholic and I do not pretend to understand that religion but from watching this documentary I came away with a good understanding of not just the scandal but the victims and the indirect victims of this heinous crime.
The focus is on Father O’Grady who participates in this documentary and his victims but it also reveals the indirect victims which are the law abiding Catholic’s who find their entire religion and belief structure painted black by the evil intentions and actions of a few of its leaders.
If you see one documentary this year see Deliver Us From Evil. You will walk away with a new found respect for the Catholic Church and the victims within it and a clear and distinct disgust for the evil that spider webs its way through the Vatican all the way to the top of the church. 9 out of 10 stars!