Just was never gonna take well to a movie that presents journalists as heroes.
Journalists produce so much crap, both in print and transmission. They’re trusted less than any profession.
And on a local level, well I’m critical, although over time I’ve come to see how they have to try to assimilate so much.
So in coming to see this movie, I was sceptical, and more sceptical than most..
It’s hard to believe that the Boston Globe had /had a dedicated team of investigative journalists. So take time to realise that the paper is aimed at a conurbation bigger than Manchester, and not competing so much with national titles. Current circulation of a quarter of a million, 50% more than The Guardian.
Then it’s a bit hard to credit that the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests needed investigation at all. Indeed, the movie shows how the paper could have grabbed the scandal of the Catholic Church moving priests on, rather than seeking their conviction and trying to stop these criminal practices, much earlier than it did. Yet, we are dealing with such scenarios now in Britain, and not just within the Catholic Church. For so long, such things seemed unimaginable. Now, all kinds of institutions are clear that it can happen, are investigating what did happen and are on the look out for it happening now.
Then it seems unrealistic to see the victims so effective in the way they speak about it. Samantha Morton, the Nottingham-born actor, has given an interview that demonstrates that kind of power; others not so much (including an allegation about Kenneth Clarke MP made at a public meeting, which a court case was later to show he was not guilty).
That journalists are great investigators, that priests can get away with such things and that victims can speak with authority may seem untrue now, but the film speaks truthfully of events that only occurred 12 years old or so ago.
“Spotlight” is watchable and worthy.
The kinds of stories it shows have in so many cases still to be fully unravelled.
If nothing else, let us hope that we get to the truth, and that those culpable for hurting people, who were young or vulnerable, are punished.