6.6/10
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10 user 18 critic

Conspiracy of Silence (2003)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 20 January 2006 (Mexico)
A can of worms is opened within the Irish Catholic Church following two controversial incidents, the suicide of Frank Sweeney, a parish priest and the expulsion of Daniel McLaughlin, a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Annie McLaughlin
Niall O'Brien ...
John McLaughlin
Catherine Cusack ...
Mary McLaughlin
Elaine Symons ...
Marie McLaughlin
Tommy Carey ...
Sean McLaughlin
Paudge Behan ...
Niall McLaughlin
...
David Foley
Olivia Caffrey ...
Liz Foley
Anna Rose Fullen ...
Martha Foley
...
Father Dowling
...
Father Francis
...
Bishop Quinn
...
Rector Cathal
...
Father Doherty
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Storyline

A can of worms is opened within the Irish Catholic Church following two controversial incidents, the suicide of Frank Sweeney, a parish priest and the expulsion of Daniel McLaughlin, a young trainee priest from a nearby seminary, on the grounds that he was open to the sexual advances of a male colleague. A local journalist, David Foley, is convinced that Sweeney's death and Daniel's expulsion are linked. Desperate to clear his good name and be re-instated, Daniel agrees to talk to Foley. As the story gathers momentum, the Church closes ranks. Written by http://www.beyond.com.au/film/catalogue/film_catalogue/5.html#conspiracy_of_silence

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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There's a price to pay...for everything See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

20 January 2006 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Conspiration Du Silence  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,598, 5 December 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,598, 5 December 2004
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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First feature film role for Chris O'Dowd (as Christopher O'Dowd), who portrays James. See more »

Quotes

Daniel McLaughlin: Ya, I was celibate... from the moment I joined the seminary... until last night.
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Soundtracks

True Love Fades
Written by Stephen W. Parsons
© 2002 Not Quite Music Limited
Performed by Perfect Strangers
Licensed by courtesy of Bubblehead Records Ltd
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User Reviews

 
A Very Fine, Fascinating Film That Seems to be Unfinished
21 August 2005 | by See all my reviews

CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE is a moody, dark, probing inquiry into the concept of celibacy of priests in the Catholic Church in Ireland and all the way to the Vatican. The concept, story and script by Writer/Director John Deery are tight, arrow sharp in aim, but ultimately unresolved issues cloud the success of what could have been a pungent movie.

Set in a seminary in Ireland for preparing young men for the priesthood, we are introduced to some warmly human characters such as Daniel McLaughlin (Jonathan Forbes), a squeaky clean lad who gave up a girlfriend Sinead (Catherine Walker) to follow his (and his family's) life ambition to become a priest. Naive, warm, loving, athletic and bright, he is the seminary poster boy - until one evening after hours he innocently visits a fellow seminarian's room and is the focus of seduction by the student who kindly says 'we're all only human and have our needs'. Daniel gently declines the advances, leaves the student's room but is observed by an old priest with demons of his own. The priest reports the incident and Daniel is abruptly thrown out of the seminary by the evil Rector Cathal (Sean McGinley) for being homosexual - a charge that couldn't be farther from the truth.

At the same time in another part of the seminary the fine Father Sweeney dresses in all his priestly regalia and commits suicide is a gruesome way. His suicide is threatening to the staff of the seminary and a cover-up is immediately put in place. It seems Father Sweeney some four years ago had stirred controversy in the Vatican by publicly exposing his HIV status, alerting the Church and the world that HIV was rampant in the world wide Church. His partner left the priesthood, disillusioned, but following FR Sweeney to the seminary in Ireland.

An earnest reporter David Foley (Jason Barry) begins the investigation of the suicide and in doing so finds the reason for Daniel's expulsion as well as the myriad dark secrets being covered by the Church - all to do with the concept of celibacy and the inevitable sequelae of sensual deprivation on priests. One Father Jack Dowling (Hugh Bonneville) supports David and Daniel and is disenchanted with the behavior of the Church against its own priests. Then, without resolving any of these fascinating strings of thought the movie ends, leaving many questions unanswered - as though there are no answers.

The acting is uniformly strong (including the likes of Brenda Fricker as Daniel's mother et al), for once giving a spectrum of the priesthood that is not favoring bad or good. These characters are men with convictions and none can be faulted for their stances. The setting in Ireland is magnificently captured by cinematographer Jason Lehel, and Francis Haines and Stephen W. Parsons provide a hauntingly beautiful musical score. As far as it takes us this is a fine film. Perhaps Deery is planning Part II to finish this story! Grady Harp


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