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Monday, December 19, 2005

Conspiracy of Silence DVD review for This Week In Texas. Review written by Duane Simolke, author of Holding me Together: Essays and Poems -- Second Edition.

Conspiracy of Silence

With the Catholic Church struggling over sexual issues and losing priests, this movie seems especially timely. Considering how much the Vatican hates Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that this Irish import received a cold welcome in Italy.

Now TLA Releasing is providing American distribution for the DVD of Conspiracy of Silence. Succeeding as a thriller, an exploration of theological issues, and on many other levels, this movie ultimately relies on strong performances from its cast, which includes Jonathan Forbes (from the Horatio Hornblower TV movies), Jason Barry (from Titanic), and Brenda Fricker (Academy Award winner for My Left Foot).

During a Vatican meeting on AIDS, a gay priest becomes annoyed with the lack of action and creates a protest, which the Vatican quickly squelches. Word of the protest goes unmentioned until three years later, when the priest commits suicide.

While a reporter begins examining the case, an Irish seminarian is fighting expulsion, which stems from the ungrounded suspicion that he had a sexual encounter with another young man at the seminary. The reporter and the seminarian both find corruption and a lack of compassion, all centered around the vow of celibacy.

John Deery, who also directed the film, wrote the screenplay from his Catholic background, and his fear that the Vatican’s hypocrisy and unwillingness to debate celibacy is destroying Catholicism. The film deals honestly and compassionately with both gay and heterosexual relationships, but never attacks religion. Instead, it looks at the dangers of absolute, unquestioned power.

Harry and Max DVD review for This Week In Texas. Review written by Duane Simolke, author of Holding me Together: Essays and Poems -- Second Edition