The rot from the top

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM - TARA BRADY

broader, brick-wall con­spir­acy that goes all the way to the top.

In this spirit, Mea Max­ima Culpa of­fers a wealth of shame-mak­ing facts and de­tails re­gard­ing the Holy See. The re­sults are en­gross­ing and of­ten dev­as­tat­ing, but lack the taut fo­cus of Amy Berg’s sim­i­lar De­liver Us from Evil (2006).

The in­ner work­ings of the Vat­i­can may be in­ter­est­ing but, struc­turally, the film fal­ters when it loses track of its deaf com­plainants. A de­tour to Bal­lyfer­mot and an ex­tended sec­tion in Rome ought to, one feels, fea­ture in an­other doc­u­men­tary al­to­gether.

Oc­ca­sion­ally, the project’s tele­vi­sual ori­gins (HBO) tell. The nar­ra­tion is too TV-friendly. Snip­pets of sin­is­ter mu­sic and di­a­logue such as “like the song says – ‘He looked like an an­gel, talked like an an­gel’ . . . ” is surely aimed squarely at folks surf­ing through chan­nels and not at ticket buy­ers.

As the film sprawls be­yond its re­mit, we get plenty of fas­ci­nat­ing re­search but noth­ing that works to­ward a sat­is­fac­tory de­noue­ment. Re­cent Vat­i­can dis­patches might have done the trick. Cer­tainly it’s im­pos­si­ble to leave the cin­ema with­out hop­ing that the Pa­pal res­ig­na­tion and the aw­ful events ex­plored here are not un­re­lated.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.