Deliver Us from Evil (2006) Poster

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Gripping, Disturbing and Not to be Missed
Jaymay1 December 2006
In my opinion, this film is a front-runner for the Oscar for Best Documentary for 2006.

It's absolutely riveting. If you are a fan of "Silence of the Lambs," you should see this because Oliver O'Grady is just as chilling as Hannibal Lecter -- more so because he is real. Filmmaker Amy Berg did a news piece on O'Grady, a Catholic priest who raped dozens -- possibly hundreds -- of children in California. On a whim, she called him in his exile in Ireland and got him to agree to an extensive three day interview. It is a confession unlike any other.

On one level, Deliver Us From Evil is a righteous indictment of the Catholic Church: its inaction, its enabling, its bureaucracy, its male-dominated backwardness.

At the same time, the film is a profile of some incredibly decent people: Catholic parents and children who were victims in this rampage. Their character is inspiring -- their pain is as raw as anything you will ever see on film.

Finally, it's the study about the way a psychopath can play every human emotion to his own advantage.

There is Hell to pay for this man's sins. And some victims are living that hell every day.
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Long overdue expose of the hierarchy and their vow of obedience
jjhendron26 November 2006
I cannot adequately express my sincere sympathy for the victims of clergy abuse. I was totally disgusted with the responses offered by the bishops/monsignor and archbishop/cardinal in regard to their knowledge of abuse by Oliver Grady. How can all these priests keep quiet about these crimes against children? They are not ignorant of this. I am Catholic, and I am the Church as are all the people. These men do not follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ; and we (the real Church) better start taking responsibility for bringing the hierarchy to task. Thank you to the survivors, their families, Amy Berg and all those who are working so hard to raise our consciousness to these crimes, and the truth about our leaders. This isn't the end of the Catholic church. It is the end of the way we've known it; and it's about time.
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Excellent eye-opening documentary
gladee3 November 2006
I am sure many will never take the opportunity to see this film thinking it biased toward the church. Although it will be a painful experience for devoted catholics it is mandatory that they be aware of the deception of their prelates in the cover-up of clergy sexual abuse. The intransigence of the hierarchy is detailed and horrifying. Its machinations to cover up the crimes against the children who they had an obligation to protect and nourish would be loathsome enough in secular society but they are an abomination in the church. There are a few voices that are trying to stimulate reform in the church but the outlook is grim.
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Should be required viewing for all Catholics
mario-dalimonte8 September 2006
I saw this film at the Toronto Film Festival, and I am still thinking about it a day later. I was raised a Catholic, and I think that this film should be required viewing for all Catholics. Amy Berg has constructed a documentary that is not only about the abuse of children and their families by an individual priest; it is also about the evil and politics that exist within the institution of the church and that have allowed (and continue to allow) horrible abuses to occur. It actually hurt to watch this film, but I did not walk out of the theatre with a sense of defeat. I left with a sense of resolve, knowing that we need to take the CHURCH back from the politicians masquerading as bishops and cardinals and, yes, even the pope.
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dedrac322 June 2006
This was a shocking account of the political sickness that trickles through our world in schools and, yes, of all places, our Churches. Not a date movie. Similar to Schindler's List, the gripping tales told by Catholic Religious leaders and victims of child molestation in the Church held me in suspense of reality and opened my eyes to the scale and duration of the problem, which still exists in many places today. The disturbing part was the institutional course of action and lack of action taken when high leaders were made aware of the problem and asked for help by BOTH sexual victims AND sexual offenders. As with many parts of systematic human intervention, the easiest thing to do was to ignore or divert and continue. This film is an eye opener. I do not recommend it for children 12 years or younger.
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Raw emotions and insights into pain and denial
billmil4 November 2006
I saw this movie tonight and found it excellent. Parts of this movie made my skin crawl, others moved me to tears. The sight of a sixty year old man, with a deep bellowing voice, weep in anguish at the pain his daughter went through and the deception the whole family experienced: this touched me deeply.

This movie also offered some helpful insights in alternating between both the abused and the abuser looking back on the abuse. The abuser looks back on it w/ detached shame and remorse. The victims and their families rage with intense, fresh pain despite the decades.

The ray of hope in this movie is Father Thomas Doyle, a priest who reaches out to the families with compassion, hugs, apologies. He's articulate and knowledgeable about church polity and politics as well as the "spiritual rape" that occurs when kids are abused by a religious leader; and he knows his Jesus, that is, he shows Christ talked about "suffering little children to come to me..for such is the kingdom of God."

I still don't understand how the church leadership in California (i.e. in this specific case) leadership forgot this teaching of Jesus regarding children: "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."

I wish this topic would have come up more in the film.

Addendum: * My thoughts led me back to this film as I recently learned that someone had abused one of my former students. "Deliver us from evil" came immediately to mind; this movie woke me up to the fact that a nice/charming/well-mannered/harmless-looking/great-with-kids person can really be dangerous evil and treacherous, i.e. "prowling around like a roaring lion." For this reason, I think every adult should see this movie.

(Just today I read how a man in Chicago abused a girl after befriending her mom. "She said their friendship grew to the point where she allowed him to take her son and daughter on outings." I cannot but think that if either the mom/neighbor/relative/friend saw this movie someone might have said uttered a word of caution which could have prevented such a tragedy).

* Clearly the priests who shuffled around the abusers (and effectively covered up these scandals), underestimated the trauma and damage caused by abuse. But just what *were* they thinking? "They won't remember it." "They'll get over it". Yet the testimony of the people in this movie show that the long-term damage is enormous. What really went on in the heads of the leadership? I'd like to know.
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A truly outstanding documentary
Gordon-117 December 2007
This is a documentary to expose the sexual abuse done by catholic clergymen to children, and to expose the subsequent systematic cover up done by the church.

Due to the disturbing nature of the film, it is hard not to judge it without reference to morals. It is wrong to abuse children. I never imagined the extent of betrayal and deceit in the catholic priests' scandal. It is shocking, scary and disgusting.

Talking about the film proper, I think it is very nicely done. How Jyono's family turns from support to anger is touchingly portrayed. Putting Nancy's trauma with Jyono's support seem to give a balanced picture of the situation. That is, until later, when the truth is revealed. Anne Jyono's trauma is central to the film, because Anne still has faith despite all the wrongs done to her. The most heartbreaking scene in the film is when Anne breaks down after hearing her father lost faith and announces that "There is no God".

With the actual convict also appearing to give interview, I find "Deliver Us From Evil" the most convincing and truthful. It is sad to see that O'Grady's guilt is very superficial.

A truly outstanding film is able to evokes a plethora of emotions. Especially sadness, disgust, sympathy. "Deliver Us From Evil" is able to do all these. It seamlessly takes viewers into a journey of trauma and despair of the victims; the guilt of the family members for being to trusting; deceit and ruthless lies to cover things up.

The other brave souls, who overcome all the obstacles and let the world know about these heinous crimes, are remarkable. The people who funded and worked on this film are remarkable. They face an insurmountable giant and they are not afraid to speak out. They need to let the world know. This film is shocking, touching and saddening. It breaks my heart to see hundreds of thousands of lives wrecked by their trusted authority figure. I hope "Deliver Us From Evil" will deliver children away from evil.
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Absolutely riveting
LeRoyMarko9 September 2006
We've known for a while now that what goes on in the confessional is not always the will of God. But the way this documentary is put together, it just moves you deep inside. The film is unassuming at first but is gathering a lot of steam from segment to segment. I was choked with emotions when one victim's father is expressing his rage. I was fighting tears during most of the film. It was hard not be moved considering the victims' plight and considering the very priest that presided over my wedding was himself imprisoned for sexual assaults committed in the past. Some will say that Amy Berg's documentary paints a one-sided pretty ugly picture of the Catholic Church. But the Church didn't always help itself when expressing doubt, ignoring or by just refuting cases of abuse committed by priests. The director was there at the premiere of her documentary at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was interesting to hear her talk about Father O'Grady. For her, it seems that by agreeing to be interviewed for this film, it was some kind of a way to be freed from whatever guilt he may have. You can sense that this guy puts a lot of importance in showmanship. Seen at the Varsity, during the Toronto International Film Festival, on September 9th, 2006.

88/100 (***½)
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An Awesome Documentary!
choralman2200015 May 2007
I had never been aware of this movie but happened upon the title here on IMDb by accident. God DOES work in mysterious ways, because He may have led me to this great film.

I'm not Roman Catholic, but I am a Christian. However, whether one is "religious" or not should have no effect on a basic understanding of right and wrong/good and evil. It is wrong to molest anyone, let alone children. This thoughtful documentary by Ms. Berg will tear at your heart as you view it. There are no magic answers here. The film will make no one feel "better" about what has gone in in the Catholic church for centuries. What the film WILL do is help you better understand the life-long pain that sexual abuse brings not only directly to the victim, but indirectly to families and even future relationships.

Ms. Berg's film brings sexual abuse to the viewer in a truthful and compassionate way that I've never seen before. Not that there has never been sexual abuse of children by a Baptist minister or Jewish Rabbi or others who wear the "cloth" of clergy...I'm sure there has been...but the systematic cover up by the Roman Catholic church should be an embarrassment to all officials in the Church, from the Pope down to the Parish Priest.

Every seminary student, regardless of his or her religion, should be required to see this movie. Every Roman Catholic should see this movie. Everyone who breaths air should see this movie and talk about it to everyone else.
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Mike B14 August 2011
This is mighty strong documentary on the abuse of children by the Catholic Church and its cover-up. I read elsewhere that the term "abuse" is a euphemism for much more sordid acts; namely the physical rape of an innocent child.

This film examines the history of one pedophile priest in the United States and how his acts were simply covered-up by the Catholic hierarchy. He performed innumerable acts on both male and female children. Even though some parents reported this to the Catholic ministry, it was only when police officials became involved that he was arrested. There are many interviews with both the victims and those in the Church hierarchy who covered it up, as well as the pedophile himself.

So are we provided with many different angles. The documentary never becomes accusatory in itself – but it allows us to view the heart-wrenching lives of the victims and their families. They try to extract an apology from the Vatican, but this is all in vain.

It even brings us to view the life of this eerie pedophile, not presented as evil incarnate; but as a human being with a severe psychological problem. At times you can feel his ingratiating performance even as he acknowledges the severity of what he has done. This is a rare film that deals with both oppressor and oppressed.

The film is about several things: the nature of the evil that exists in this pedophile, the corruption of the Catholic Church, the Church's refusal to deal with sexual issues and admit its crimes against humanity, but most of all it is about the torment of the victims who are left alone with their families to struggle on with their lives. This documentary contains some very emotional scenes and is very well made.
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