By Allison Nekola and Seán McGlone – Co-Editor-in-Chief and News Editor
The film “Spotlight” focuses on the team of Boston Globe reporters who broke the story of the 87 priests accused of sexually assaulting minors in Boston, exposing the cover-ups made by Cardinal Law (Len Cariou). Families of the victims were promised that all accused priests would be exiled from the church, but in truth they were shuffled around the area and relocated to different parishes.
The four-person Boston Globe spotlight team, which specializes in investigative stories, starts by researching one priest who’s repeatedly been accused of assaulting children. Under the direction of the new editor, Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber), a Jewish man who’d never been to Boston, the spotlight team is told to look into why a priest who had already been accused of sexual assault was still preaching.
Soon the team is holding interviews with victims and is tipped off that there may be as many as 13 priests in the archdiocese who had also been accused. The number rapidly grows into 87 priests as the movie reaches its climax.
We sat biting our nails as the fast-paced atmosphere of the movie translated per- fectly through each scene, never stopping to give our thumping hearts a rest. There was enough hype in the movie to take the audience exactly where they needed to go emotionally. When victims recollected the details of their trauma, the director was tasteful. No visual reenactment, only explicit language that leaves the audience to use their own imagination as they empathize with the characters.
Mitch Garabedian (Stanley Tucci), the attorney intent on helping the victims, delivers a chilling line, “This is not just big, this is the whole country.”
The takeaway was this type of tragedy is happening everyday and no one is there to stop it or protect the children. This was important for the tone of the movie as well, which keeps the audience rooting for the spotlight team.
Overall, “Spotlight” is a thrilling tale of how investigative journalism can uncover the darkest secrets and bring them to light. Audiences will cringe as well as applaud for this artfully crafted movie, and potentially consider a new career in the field of journalism.