Reviews of Recent Independent, Foreign, & Documentary Films in Theaters and DVD/Home Video

Directed & Written by: John Deery.
Produced by: Davina Stanley.
Director of Photography: Jason Lehel.
Edited by: Jamie Trevill.
Released by: Watch Entertainment.
Country of Origin: UK. 87 min. Not Rated.
With: Jonathan Forbes, Jason Barry, Brenda Fricker & Hugh Bonneville.

A priest breaks his silence during a clerical conference at the Vatican, brandishing a sign declaring "The Church has AIDS." Three years later in an Irish seminary, strapping and straight Daniel (Jonathan Forbes) is summarily expelled by the reactionary clergy after he is seen leaving the dormitory room of a would-be seducer at night. He is not even given a chance to appeal the decision. While fighting his expulsion, he is reunited with his former girlfriend Sinead (Catherine Walker). But Daniel's inner conflict between his calling (with its vow of celibacy) and his relationship is rather too quickly dispelled. It's as though a romp in the hay with Sinead is an afterthought. Concurrently, a tenacious reporter (John Barry) investigates the suicide of a local priest while straddled with an unnecessary subplot - a neglected and complaining wife.

The characters here are victims, heroes, or all-and-out villains, while the hot-button issues are only superficially pressed. Lacking nuance, this torrid melodrama examines them with the complexity of a daytime talk show, which is seemingly appropriate given that the over-the-top climax takes place on a local chat show. For American audiences who have followed recent Church scandals, this less-than-penetrating exposé will be of mild interest. Kent Turner
December 3, 2004



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