The forgotten children
Spotlight is a movie based on true events that has happened and is also still happening all around the world. Still happening? What do I mean with that? The movie is based on the Catholic church sexual abuse cases that occurred in the Boston area.
The film follows the story of a team from The Boston Globe’s called the “Spotlight”. Spotlight is the oldest operating newspaper investigative journalist unit in the United States. The team gets to investigate a different case after the new editor in The Boston Globe reads an article about a lawyer that freed a priest even though he did something terrible. What the priest did, was that he sexually abused children. The team believes that they are only investigating one priest, but later sees a pattern that there are more priests that have engaged in the same sin. After figuring out that there are 13 priests that have committed to this, they learn through a former priest that tried to rehabilitate pedophile priests that there should be approximately 90 abusive priests in Boston. By researching, they found 87 names and to back up the suspicion they find their victims and interview them about the traumatic experience. Everything is going well until September 11 attacks occur. Spotlight is then forced to stop the case they are investigating and must prioritize the attack that is happening now. The whole case gets almost thrown off and the team aren’t allowed to keep on working with it for some time. This builds irritation in everybody in that team, since pedophiles are still lurking in the streets as if they haven’t done anything illegal.
The main conflict is that they need a lot of proof and something to back up their suspicion to be able to publish a newspaper related to this event. One would think that it would be easy, but the problem is that the church has tried to get rid of all evidence and have a lot of power in the society in general. Taking down the church becomes then so much harder and there is a lot of catholic priests meanwhile Spotlight consist of few members. They need more legal documents that they can use against the catholic church. Another problem in the movie, is that since the September 11 attack occurs, they must put a stop or more likely take a break on the investigation. The consequences they face for doing so is that more children will be involved and the ones that got abused won’t get their justice. Those who have been abused and contacted by the team are starting to get inpatient on waiting for the Globe to speak up and are considering making articles themselves. This can cause a problem since they don’t really have any proof and can destroy this investigation.
The whole thing is resolved by them learning that there are publicly available documents that confirm Cardinal Law was made aware of the problem and ignored it. The people wanting the Spotlight to run the story are stopped by one of the investigators. She tells the people to wait patiently so they can research further, and the problem can be fully exposed to whole Boston. After getting the legal documents they can see the whole picture and have real proof of the whole case. In the end they can publish it.
I never knew that this was something that have happened in the past and is still happening according to the end of the film. I have never heard of it before, but that isn’t weird since I got born in 2001. It would be weird if I knew it at that time for sure. But this just shows us how even the purest people can be tempted by their sins. You would have thought that the priests never would have done this to children, but it just shows how wrong our assumptions can be. Even them do stuff like that. It makes me so mad that the priests thought this was okay though. Throughout the whole movie I felt so angry and irritated. How could old (at least most of them were old) men do this to children. So many of them were so young and didn’t even know better. Just the fact that the society decided to ignore the people that tried to speak up about their traumatic experience with the priest when they were younger makes this even worse. It shows how much trust and power the catholic church had before. Yeah, they are still big now but not as much as before, at least in my opinion and according to how it looks like. Many people go through this daily and I just think I realized how hard it really is to be able to be heard by anyone. Just by looking at the film I also realized how easy it is to read something and then ignore it like it never happened. It really changed my mind and how different medias can take a big part in being heard.