The child abuse scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic
Church for the last decades come under the scrutiny of filmmaker
Kirby Dick in the disturbing and thought-provoking TWIST OF FAITH,
which received an Academy Award nomination as Best Feature
Documentary of 2004. Made under the auspices of HBO Documentary
Films, TWIST OF FAITH is sure to air on the cable channel eventually,
allowing an even wider audience to see this moving and troubling motion
Dick was extremely fortunate in finding his subject -- Anthony 'Tony'
Comes, a Toledo firefighter, a practicing Catholic, a married father of
two, and a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a priest who happened
to be a high school religion teacher. When the film opens Tony is
struggling with issues relating to the abuse he suffered. He's in
counseling, but it doesn't seem to be helping. Gradually, things get even
more rocky when he discovers that one of the neighbors in the area
to which he's moved his family is the very man who abused him.
There's a gut-wrenching scene where Tony and his wife Wendy explain
to their young daughter about his abuse and the fact that the "monster"
now lives near them.
Tony also becomes determined to fight the case in court, first
filing a motion under John Doe, but eventually "coming out" to the
world, via the news media. By taking this controversial stand, he throws
his entire world apart, and the film traces his growing struggles for
justice, his marital problems, the strain on his relationship with his
mother and the solace he discovers in seeking out other survivors of
sexual abuse at the hands of priests.
Interspersed are video diaries kept by Tony and his wife, as well
as videotaped depositions from two priests accused of abusing
children, and interviews with other survivors.
The film is difficult to watch at times, and while some may become
exasperated at Comes' anger and inability to let go and move on,
unless one has walked in his shoes, one shouldn't judge. Tony Comes
is a very brave man and his pain is palpable. I only hope that he has
found some measure of peace.
Viewed at NewFest at Loews 34th Street Theater.
|Copyright 2005-2010 by C.E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.
|Twist of Faith