‘Spotlight’ Shows a Community at Its Worst, and Journalism at Its Best

SpotlightThe team discovers that child abuse at the hands of God’s self-appointed disciples is no secret. In fact, it is widely known among Boston’s politicians, prosecutors, and other powerful parishioners who knew or suspected the prevalence of sexual crimes committed by priests against children but chose not to speak out. Their fear of spiritual and social excommunication allowed the abuse to fester. It takes a village to raise a child, observes Mitchell Garabedian, an irascible lawyer skillfully played by Stanley Tucci, who represents many of Boston’s child victims. And it takes the silence of a village to perpetuate such abuse.

The film bravely acknowledges that the Globe itself was among those powerful institutions that did all too little for far too long. The Globe, having been purchased by the New York Times in 1993, beset by layoffs and declining subscribers and revenue, was focused on other news before it finally confronted the horrifying truth that it had declined to pursue for decades, while the number of shattered lives mounted.

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