Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Deliver Us From Evil



Rated: No rating 
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: November 26, 2006 Released by: Lions Gate Films

Sounding like it should be a horror movie, Deliver Us From Evil is a devastating documentary about the horrors of pedophilia within the Catholic Church.

Specifically, in California concerning one Irish priest, Fr. Oliver Grady. Over a 20 year stretch, "Father Ollie" would molest hundreds of boys and girls as young as nine months, most prominently in the San Francisco area.

Indifference from the higher levels of the church just led to his appearance at another parish when trouble was simmering. Later, civil actions led to his arrest and deportation to Eire (after this film's release he was jettisoned to Mexico).

The writer and director Amy Berg (who attended Catholic school but is Jewish) is quite persuasive in getting the victims and their families to let the viewer in on their chilling experiences.

And, she is adroit in having O'Grady before the camera in Ireland unable to express any regret or remorse, claiming "he loved the children and merely wanted to cuddle them."

Equally shameful is Roger Mahoney, O'Grady's ex-boss, who, along with other church officials, did not wish to speak in front of the camera. Mahoney would become an L.A. cardinal while surreptitiously shuttling the delusional man of the cloth around archdioceses.

Berg produces a gripping, disturbing piece of cinema verite sure to enrage even the most devout of Catholics, not focusing in on her subject with a religious lens. From the encounters to a videotaped deposition, Deliver Us From Evil is a damning portrait of evil at the altar. Or, as Berg declares, "It's about child abuse and a corporation."

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Deliver Us From Evil       A       A

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