By Luciana Leitão
I am a journalist. And when a film like Spotlight comes along, I remember why I became a journalist: to tell the truth.
A team of investigative reporters from the Boston Globe starts following a lead on how a few priests from Boston had abused children 30 years ago and ends up confirming that there were, in fact, dozens involved. Yet, instead of focusing on the abusers, the team focused on something much bigger: the system.
The final piece revealed names of abusers, but it also revealed the names of those – higher in the church hierarchy – that were aware of the incidents and did nothing to prevent them or, at least, to punish the perpetrators.
In the end, due to the work of the Boston Globe, 249 priests and brothers were convicted and close to 2,000 survivors finally had justice. The system was questioned, shaking up the whole community and believers everywhere in the world. After that, other cases were revealed in several other cities of the US.
As the story unfolds, the reporters are repeatedly confronted with testimonies that show the crimes had been right under their noses for several years already. How could so many years had gone by, with lawyers and victims trying to tell the truth to different entities, and no one saw the story?
Presenting Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo as two tormented and eager-to-make justice reporters, it is convincing and well structured. It also questions how journalism is done, how it may be manipulated and how self-censorship can exist, without you even noticing.
Nominated for six Oscars, this film doesn’t have special effects or over-the-top photography, but it tells you an excellent story in a very simple way. Actually, it’s much more than that: it inspires you. And that’s what great films are all about.
Director: Tom McCarthy
Writers: Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy
Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams
Oscar Nominations: Best Picture, Actor in a Supporting Role, Actress in a Supporting Role, Directing, Film Editing, Writing (Original Screenplay)