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Spotlight (2015).Spotlight (2015)

At a simple level, this historical drama tells the story of how in 2001 a Boston Globe investigative team called "Spotlight" documented and then published proof that the Catholic Archdiocese in Boston had actively and systematically covered up a massive pedophilia scandal in its churches.  Before it was over, similar revelations the world over rocked Catholicism.  But to its credit, the movie shows that the truth is not quite so simple.  Even the Globe sat on this same story many years earlier.  Police turned a blind eye.  Attorneys made money on confidential settlements that remained private.  Church bureaucrats followed orders from higher ups.  Victims and their families were shamed, silenced, and threatened.  Outmoded laws and statute of limitations complicated matters.  Limited budgets, competition with other local papers, and more urgent stories like the 9/11 disaster in 2001 complicated the work.  At one point a reporter says, "Everybody knew something, but nobody did anything."  In 2003, the real Spotlight unit of the Boston Globe won a Pulitzer for its investigative efforts.  "Spotlight" has won numerous festival and critics' awards, including six nominations for Academy Awards.  The movie reminds us of the important role of a free press in civil society.

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