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Shocking Raw Emotions

  • Apr 30, 2007
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"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 a shocking look at the political illnesses that comes into our school systems and churches.
Father O'Grady moved from parish to parish in Northern California in the 1970's. His "charisma" quickly allowed him to win each congregation's trust and respect but his parishioners did not know that he was an active pedophile and that the hierarchy of the Church knew all about and allowed him to practice for 30 plus years. The film exposes the deep and total corruption of the Church and probes the deeply troubled mind of the man they harbored. The movie hits you with an unbelievable reality and shows the extent and the duration of the problems of corrupt priests which still exists. What is really the most amazing thing that we see is that the course of action of the Church hierarchy was no action. When high Church officials were made aware of the problem by both victims and sexual offenders, they looked the other way.
It is not news that what happens in confessionals today is not always the will of G-d. Beginning from an unassuming position, the film quickly gains strength from segment to segment. This is not a film to be seen by emotional people as it s hard to keep your eyes dry when you see and hear the rage of the families and the fear of the victims. The fact that the Catholic Church, one of the most powerful institutions in the world, ignored or refuted cases it was well aware of s sickening and heart-breaking. So many of us wondered where G-d was during the Holocaust or September 11. Here are men of G-d committing the most heinous of crimes and the Church knew but chose to ignore or deny. The prelates of the Church themselves covered up cases of clergy sexual abuse and the intransigence of the Church hierarchy is appalling and horrifying. The Church as an educational as well as religious institution has an obligation to protect--especially its children. Not doing so is abominable. Reform does not seem to be in the offing.
The movie will make you uncomfortable but it is impossible to understand how the leadership of the Church forgets the teachings of its own Lord regarding children. What the move does do is awaken you to see that the nicest, most well-mannered person can be evil and dangerous and even more so be a representative of G-d on earth. I have to ask what was going on in the minds of the higher ups in the Church?
The movie is understated to say the least--as strong as it was, it could have been so much stronger. The interviews with the abuser and the abuser will tear you apart. The stories of the families shock especially when the abuse is recalled. What we get ultimately is a very moving and well-paced story of how regular people, church-goers who put their faith in their church and their god were betrayed by a man they trusted and seemingly with permission from the Supreme Being.
At least Father O'Grady agreed to appear in the film and he seemed to be a man not fully aware of the amount of harm he had caused--in fact, I saw him as a very shallow person not exhibiting any remorse whatsoever. We do learn that he had been abused himself, both by his brother and by a priest. We also learned that there was awareness by certain Church officials of his activities and they simply relocated him whenever something came to light. What we do not learn s what was O'Grady's state of mind when he was committing such horrible and inexcusable crimes.
The film shows the truth of what has happened in the Catholic Church and probably is still happening as I write this. Amy Berg is a true hero for bringing this film to us and she should be lauded as such. It is your choice to see it or not--but, if you do you may never be the same again.

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More Deliver Us From Evil (2006) reviews
review by . February 10, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
review by . May 11, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
review by . May 10, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
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Amos Lassen ()
Ranked #208
I am an academic who reivews movies and books of interest to the GLBT and Jewish communities.   I came to Arkansas after having been relocated here due to Hurricane Katrina. I was living in … 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
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Director: Amy Berg
Genre: Documentary
Release Date: October 13, 2006
MPAA Rating: Unrated
DVD Release Date: May 08, 2007
Runtime: 1hr 43min
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"Shocking Raw Emotions"
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