Graves: ‘Spotlight’ shines, reminds of abuse victims

Cincinnati Enquirer

Chris Graves, November 28, 2015

I sat in the darkened theater as the credits rolled for Spotlight, tears streaming down my face.

Frankly, I was surprised by my reaction. I did not anticipate being emotional.

The much-acclaimed movie, which unwinds the story of how a team of Boston Globe reporters uncovered and exposed the coverup of widespread pedophilia in that city’s Catholic Church, is indeed riveting. It is also painfully accurate in the often mundaneness and tedium of reporting, in how hard the truth is not only to find but to verify and in the small victories that when knitted together can sometimes take down powerful and revered institutions.

Many have said the film is a love story to journalism and a call for American news outlets to recommit to the mission of tough-as-nails, feet-on-the-ground investigative local reporting. Agreed. No argument here.

But that is not why I cried.

I wept for the countless victims of the abuse. I cried not out of sadness, but rather I was moved by their bravery to come forward and recount how the men in whom they had put their faith, stole that and their childhood and their innocence. I was moved by the power of the truth.

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