Deliver Us From Evil 2
“Deliver Us From Evil” explores the roles these men played in the abuse of children in California over the last 30 years.

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NOMINEE: Documentary

Theatrical Release Date: 10/13/2006
Director: Amy Berg

Thanks in large part to documentaries like “Bowling for Columbine” and “March of The Penguins”, studios are pushing the medium out to the public like never before.

Usually, you only find out about a documentary like “Deliver Us From Evil” because it is up for some award and then you have to track down a copy of it from some specialty video store.

Now, documentaries are getting their due and I think it’s a great way not only to present wonderful stories and get the mass market actually thinking every now and then, it also provides another revenue stream to help independent theaters stay open, now that many “independent” films are being released in mainstream movies theaters thanks to their critical and box office success of late.

Shifting the focus squarely on this particular documentary, “Deliver Us From Evil” shines the spotlight on clergy sexual abuse and the cover up / blind eye being presented by the Catholic Church in regards to the issue.

The core of the documentary revolves around Father Oliver O’Grady, an Irish priest who moved to America in the mid-‘70s, and a number of the victims he abused over the past 30 years.

Honestly, I don’t know what to feel about giving an admitted child abuser a forum to talk about the heinous acts he committed.

On the one hand, being able to see this “person” and listen to his accounts is eye opening. The documentary would not have been as jarring without his side of things and director Amy Berg did a nice job of fully rounding out his story as completely as possible up to the time of filming.

On the other hand, just the idea that he gets any attention or recognition, albeit negative, is still nauseating.

From a more courageous standpoint, being able to get the story straight from the victims and their families is chilling and unnerving.

Their accounts are gut wrenching, especially that of one of the fathers. To see him break down in tears one minute and fire up in anger the next brings forth some of the most captivating and compelling moments I’ve ever seen on film.

Because at the end of the day, what makes all of this so hard to watch, and yet necessary, is that it is all real.

The abuse is real. The pain is real. These people will never be the same.

And apparently, the Catholic Church doesn’t seem to care.

As most loyal readers know, I’m a cynic and not much in the way of religion, especially the organized variety.

This kind of crap being pulled by clergy and their superiors only serves to fuel my cynicism and contempt.

Back to the domain of filmdom, “Deliver Us From Evil” is not perfect, nor is it fun. The subject matter is brutal and the implications far reaching.

However, this is truly a great documentary in that is presents an issue more people should take to heart and really question. (Not enough documentaries seem to be presenting an issue that still has yet to be resolved, more often than not they are history lessons).

What makes “Deliver Us From Evil” so current is the backlog of legal cases being brought forth against clergy and the Catholic Church as a whole. According to the documentary, over 100,000 sexual abuse claims against clergy members have been made in the United States alone. In the Los Angeles Diocese alone, there are 556 priests being accused of abuse.

I hope that bringing this issue to light so passionately will help to at least curb the problem in the future. Sadly, I have little hope the Catholic Church will make any real changes unless their revenue stream is threatened.

I’m giving “Deliver Us From Evil” a 4 out of 5. I had some issues with Berg’s presentation of audio clips during visual shots that weren’t necessarily related but if you think you can handle this subject, this is definitely something to see.