DELIVER US FROM EVIL
Documentary about Father Oliver O'Grady, a dangerously active paedophile who moved from one parish to another in Northern California during the 1970s, despite the fact the Church hierarchy was aware of his habits. He quickly won each congregation's trust and respect wherever he went and countless children were abused during this time. Now, after a 7 year prison sentence, O'Grady lives free in Ireland.
Review by Louise Keller:
A sobering look at paedophilia in the Catholic Church, Amy Berg's gripping documentary reveals disturbing facts, but even more disturbingly, about its cover up. There is something intrinsically evil about a priest who molests children and uses their trust to satisfy his own ego. Berg explores the case of Father Oliver O'Grady, a priest whose debauched activities canvassing over 30 years has been ignored by the Church. It is deeply disturbing to hear first hand accounts from victims, whose lives have been shattered by abuse, but the candid footage from the priest himself, is truly shocking. This is certainly a portrait of evil.
The very first person we meet is Father O'Grady himself, now living the life of a free man in Ireland. It is chilling that he speaks of the things 'that should not have happened', as he walks along the street and in the park where children are playing. 'I like children,' he admits and talks about his arousal when seeing children in various shades of undress. His recollection of events is totally different from those of some of his victims, whose trauma is still apparent. His ridiculous notion of wanting to write to those he perpetrated to invite them to meet him, is delusional. The pain and devastation experienced by not only the victims, but their families, makes for a moving experience. The recollections of a father, whose 'whole world collapsed' as he recalls the discovery of the rape of his 5 year old daughter, is like having open heart surgery.
The way the Church continuously moved Father O'Grady from one parish to another, when complaints began to emerge, is indicative of the way it has handled this issue. Church leaders like Cardinal Roger Mahony are damned by the evidence before us. Theirs is perhaps the greatest crime, to not only ignore the molestations, but to by default, condone them, by not doing anything about them. The fingers point as high as the office goes - to the Pope himself, who was in charge of an investigation between 1978 and 2005. Deliver Us From Evil is a film that should be seen. It scratches the surface of what is obviously a huge world wide issue. And Father O'Grady, enjoying his freedom in Ireland, is a sorry reminder of it.
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AMY BERG INTERVIEW
DELIVER US FROM EVIL (MA15+)
CAST: Documentary with Thomas Doyle, Oliver O'Grady
PRODUCER: Amy Berg, Matthew Cooke, Frank Donner, Hermas Lassalle
DIRECTOR: Amy Berg
SCRIPT: Amy Berg
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jacob Kusk, Jens Schlosser
EDITOR: Matthew Cooke
MUSIC: Joseph Arthur, Mick Harvey
PRODUCTION DESIGN: n/a
RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 10, 2007