#2 – Spotlight

#FCOutreach #2015/2016Films #Day1Article2


Our teachers and parents have taught us to colour within the lines from young. Colour within them, and you are welcome in the society; colour beyond them, and you become the outcast. But who are we to blame for this ridiculous convention of following conventions set by the authorities (and ostracizing those who don’t)?

The teachers who coerce us into becoming mere puppets of the society? The parents who force us to follow their dreams, regardless of what we actually want? Or this whole system of blindly following the authorities (teachers, parents, priests, the government, etc.) that’s been adopted by generations and generations of people?

This is part of what ‘Spotlight’ explores through journalists who uncover a massive sexual abuse scandal within the Roman Catholic Church in Boston, and discover that there’s a bigger picture at hand –the entire society is responsible for the perpetuation of the scandal; the system of compliance with authorities drove the cover-up of this scandal and shielded the truth for years.

Survivors were urged to keep mum about their encounters by their very own families, who were also deeply religious and were afraid to object to the actions of the priests who were highly regarded. As explained by Phil Saviano in the film – “when you’re a poor kid from a poor neighbourhood and the priest pays attention to you, it’s a big deal. How do you say no to God?”

What the movie commendably achieves, is the raise of objections to the system as a whole, not just the individual aggressors. It highlights the fact that more than just one individual was complicit in this cover-up – from multiple lawyers who dismissed these crimes to the survivors’ families. In the words of Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci, otherwise known as Caesar Flickerman), “if it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one”.

With an exceptional cast comprising of notable actors like Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Michael Keaton, ‘Spotlight’ doesn’t attempt to make these journalists out to be heroes or lifesavers. Instead, it paints a compelling narrative based on true events by underscoring the survivors’ stories while gradually advancing towards the journalists’ realization that they, too, have unknowingly had a part in the perpetuation of the scandal.

Written by Anonymous, edited by FC BOD’16 🙂


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