It’s not a smash bang Bond or Jurassic Park or a superhero action flick, but you could argue that the real life Boston Globe reporters the movie is based on were superheroes for uncovering and stopping an epidemic. I remember hearing about the child sexual abuse cases in Boston briefly when the Sandusky case broke in Pennsylvania, but did not know the extent. I saw what happens when a community doesn’t allow abuse when I served on the board for a child advocacy center, and it makes me sick to think that people would rather let children go through this so they would not be ostracized. When you do see it, the scene where Mark Ruffalo’s character goes off on his editor, just remember that you will see that during the Oscars next spring.
I don’t know if my interest in the movie Spotlight was inspired by my love of investigative and objective journalism, or my interest in child advocacy. Investigative journalism, like the breaking of the Watergate story, are what inspired me to pursue a journalism career in the first place. Pressure from higher ups on stories that were not advisable to pursue based on “community interests” were one of the many reasons I write for fun now. I do know that the American public, and maybe even the world, have become cynical of journalists because news outlets take stands, and profess opinions rather than reporting news and investigating stories. The public has developed a mistrust with the media, so when a story breaks, we wonder, what is the agenda? What does the news outlet gain from running this story?
The movie, and the investigative journalism that inspired the movie, were not attacks on the church or religious institutions in general. They were attacks on the cowardice of trusted individuals using their power over their community to inflict pain, suffering and countless years of anguish through a disgusting practice.
Go see the movie. Even though I knew the outcome, I was sitting on the edge of my seat the entire movie, and watching in horror as if the events were happening right now.