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January 2021
Spotlight (2015): The Power of Investigative Reporting
Spotlight (2015): The Power of Investigative Reporting
I just watched Spotlight (2015), the story of The Boston Globe's "Spotlight" team, a group of investigative reporters, pursuing the situation of Roman Catholic Priests sexually molesting young children in the Boston area. There are no car chases or espionage in the movie, but plenty of intrigue, astonishment, and indignation. It's the story of investigative reporters taking on systemic abuses. The investigative reporting took place mostly in 2002, with the Spotlight teaming winning the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

The entire movie is rather low-key, more of an emotional and intellectual pursuit, than an action or thriller endeavor. That said, the story moves quickly. The uncovering of evidence that demonstrated that the Boston Roman Catholic Church was protecting/hiding priests guilty of sexual abuse by moving them from parish to parish is the primary plot line and it's fascinating. It was 2 hours well spent. This is a serious movie, but not melodramatic or depressing.

The movie is full of quality actors -- Mark Ruffalo, Michal Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian d'Arcy James, and Stanley Tucci -- although, none of the actors overly dominate the storyline. They each have their role to play in the unfolding of the story. As it turns out, the reporting uncovered just the tip of what was a worldwide system of child abuse cat and mouse. At the end of the movie, there are several screen of locations, in the US and abroad, where abuse was evident.
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Peter Doolittle
Blacksburg, VA 24060
pdoo@vt.edu