Listening to victims of pedophile priests grieve and vent is the heart of 'Deliver Us from Evil', and when director and writer Amy Berg allows them to do so, it is heart-wrenching. Sometimes the head needs a little work, but some of the errors are understandable--and certainly forgivable. Los Angeles is the center of most of the focus, especially on Fr. Oliver O'Grady, an immigrant priest from Ireland who is interviewed for this documentary. Touchingly two grown victims in particular, Ann Jyono and Adam (last name not given), describe their feelings for the aftermath of the molestation they went through at a young age. Parents, particularly Bob and Maria Jyono, show their wrenching helplessness and rage at entrusting a priest figure to their own children. Throughout subtle, yet ominous background music sets the tone, which reminded me of what they use for the latter 'Myst' PC games. It is indeed chilling.
In addition, there are court videotapes of Cardinal Mahoney and other priests. (Mahoney took over the Los Angeles diocese in 1980 after Archbishop Guilfoyle died.) Interspliced are interviews with psychologists and lawyers. Dr. Mary Frawley-O'Dea is a clergy abuse counselor, and a couple of priests, including an expert in canon law, are interviewed. Everyone has a stake in this crisis.
Very sensitive material, I found that while the actions of pedophile priests are reprehensible to their victims, society, and the church, I sometimes found the focus an attack on the Catholic church as well. There's no question the crisis should be faced and abusers taken to the full extent of the law, but they don't always separate the wheat from the chafe. One interviewee states there is nothing scriptural about celebacy. Clearly this is untrue. Jesus explains that some will not marry "for the sake of the kingdom of God." While that same Jesus chose Judas as one of the twelve, it has been apparent at least since the time of Chaucer that clerical abuse is regrettably part and parcel of life--one indeed that should be confronted. The documentary is excellent for being a poignant and informative look at something that needs to be illuminated and reformed, but it should separate that there are many Catholics, including priests, who are the salt of the earth and nurture the church as well as the human condition. Blaming celebacy unintentionally gives the abusers a partial alibi.
Pros: outstanding and thorough story, well done interviews Cons: none associated with the filming The Bottom Line: “There's a blaze of light In every word It doesn't matter which you heard The holy or the broken Hallelujah” ~Leonard Cohen I saw a review about this movie that said if you were not a Catholic you would not understand this movie. I thought that … more
Pros: Structure, analysis, information Cons: Audience a bit limited since it seems to be a Catholic for Catholic story The Bottom Line: This is not a joyful topic. However if you want to know more about the sexual abuse by priests, it is a well told documentary. Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot. Deliver Us from Evil by Amy Berg is a documentary that … more
"Deliver Us From Evil" Shocking Raw Emotions Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride Amy Berg has created a documentary film that should not go unnoticed, especially my members of the Catholic religion. "Deliver Us From Evil" is not only the story about the abuse of children and families by a priest, Father Oliver O'Grady but it is also about the evils and the politics within the Church which have allowed horrible things to happen. Here is … more
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A devastating investigation into the pedophilia scandals tearing apart the Catholic Church,Deliver Us From Evilbegins by looking into one priest, Father Oliver O'Grady, who agreed to be interviewed by journalist/filmmaker Amy Berg. O'Grady's genial calm is at first ingratiating, until he begins to describe his crimes with an unsettling sociopathic detachment. But O'Grady's blithe interview is only half of the story, as the documentary also unveils how church superiors covered up O'Grady's crimes and shuffled him from diocese to diocese in northern California, finally placing him in an unsupervised position of authority in a small town, where he sexually assaulted dozens of children; the video deposition of Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahoney is a grotesque portrait in brittle denial. What makesDeliver Us From Evilcrucial viewing, however, are the remarkable interviews with a few of the victims (now adults) and their parents, whose stories are wrenching and riveting. With the support of a priest seeking to reform the church, two of the victims actually go to the Pope, seeking some form of help in addressing O'Grady's crimes. This stunningly potent documentary combines raw feeling with lucid and persuasive discussions of the reasons for--and disturbing breadth of--this crisis within the Church.--Bret Fetzer