Deliver Us From Evil (2006)
In Deliver Us From Evil, documentarian Amy Berg explores the issue of sexual abuse in the catholic church on a macro and micro level. The former might be the most interesting from a general point of view, concerning what effect the film might have as a source for betterment and reform. Berg is merciless towards the selfishness and insensibility exhibited by the authorities of the church, and there is no doubt that the beating they take from this film must lead to some kind of self-examination on their part. This part of Berg's film is important, if somewhat overloaded with monologues and lengthy segments from too many experts.
What's extraordinary with Deliver Us From Evil, however, is Berg's complete delve into the micro level of her subject-matter - more precisely her infiltration of the lives of culprit and victims in a lengthy case of abuse from various parishes of California from the 1970s to the 1990s. It is remarkable both because of the technical nature of the case, and, I would believe, as a final blow to the automatic trust which local priests traditionally have enjoyed. But even more remarkable is how Berg is able to get under the skin of the convicted, talkative and highly exhibitionistic Father O'Grady whose shamelessness and seemingly pragmatic (but ultimately devious) stance towards his own deeds and views are nothing short of astonishing. Berg's accomplishment as a documentarian in this respect cannot be undermined, and parallelly, she's getting aching and bitter testimonies from the Father's now adult victims and their families. There are a handful of scenes here which are riveting to watch, shot with a perfect balance of respect and emotional effect by Berg who with this film establishes herself as one of the best in the business.