Lionsgate has acquired domestic distrib rights to Amy Berg's Deliver Us From Evil, a documentary about a pedophile Catholic priest whose crimes were concealed by the Church for 30 years. I saw the trailer for this film shortly before the Los Angeles Film Festival, where it made its world premiere and scored the top doc prize, and it was heavy stuff for this ex-Catholic schoolgirl. The film is told from the perspectives of both victim and perpetrator, and if watching Ollie O'Grady, the jolly ex-priest with white hair and twinkling blue eyes, smile while describing how he finds young children in their underwear "arousing" doesn't turn your stomach, well, you're made of stronger stuff than I am.
Particulary wrenching is an interview with the parents of one of the victims, who was just five years old when O'Grady raped her. That the Catholic Church knew about O'Grady's crimes, and yet covered them up for years, moving him around from parish to parish where he could prey on fresh victims, is beyond reprehensible, and Berg's camera bravely shows the tragic effects of the cover-up.
Pic comes on the heels of Kirby Dick's Twist of Faith, another riveting doc about pedophilila in the Catholic church, which focused on the trauma of a now-grown victim who is re-traumatized when the priest who abused him years before moves into his neighborhood. Twist of Faith showed at Sundance in 2005 and was nominated for an Oscar later that year.
Deliver Us From Evil is slated for a Fall 2006 release.