A closer look at… Spotlight

© Entertainment One, 2016.
© Entertainment One, 2016.

Spotlight is rated 15 for child sexual abuse references

The Scoop – An intelligent drama which manages to be both restrained and powerful.

It’s 2001, and the Spotlight investigative team at the Boston Globe are looking for their next big story. They’re dubious when their new boss, Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber), asks them to dig deeper into a case involving an abusive priest, John Geoghan. The documents are all legally sealed, and any attempt to access them will be viewed by the Church as a hostile move. In a city where Catholicism is part of everybody’s life, the Globe doesn’t want to alienate its readers.

But when journalists ‘Robby’ Robinson (Michael Keaten), Mike Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James) start asking questions, they realise that Geoghan is just the tip of the iceberg. Not only are there more abusive priests in Boston than anybody had guessed, but the cover-up encompasses powerful figures from the Church and across the city.

Shining a light into this story will involve not only confronting the painful experiences of the many victims, but also coming to terms with the shocking complicity of everyone involved.

Our Take

The straightforward, unglamorous nature of Spotlight is its secret weapon. This is a film of quiet and unassuming profundity which gathers momentum slowly, never descending into sensationalism or melodrama. Given the horror of what the Spotlight team uncovers, it’s hard to imagine any other approach working.

The script honours the everyday hard work done by these dedicated journalists, and also, crucially, foregrounds the experiences of survivors. We only get one scene of an abuser attempting to justify his actions, an encounter which leaves both Sacha and the audience reeling. What we’re left with is a sense of long-term consequences, the stories of the countless people who have been left to rebuild their lives in the absence of justice.

Though Spotlight recounts true events from a specific place and time, its uncomfortable questions and its implications are far larger. Evil, we’re reminded, can look totally ordinary: it can be found in church halls and at charity functions, on golf courses and suburban streets. It can look like self-justification, like silence and compromise – and nobody comes out clean.

© Entertainment One, 2016.
© Entertainment One, 2016.

Dig Deeper

  • How would you describe your experience of watching the film? Was it what you expected? Which scenes or moments will remain with you the longest?
  • Is there anything particularly cinematic about Spotlight? In your view, would the film have been just as good as a TV series or on the small screen? Why do you think the screenwriters chose to tell the story as a feature film?
  • What did you think of the ensemble cast? Did any performances in particular stand out to you, and why? What effect does it have when a film follows a group of characters, rather than focusing on one individual?
  • How is Boston presented in the film? What kind of community is it, and how does this affect the Spotlight investigation? As the end credits roll, we see the locations of many other clergy abuse scandals across the world; did this change your perspective on the film’s events?

‘I think you’ll find that Boston’s still a small town in many ways.’ – Cardinal Law (Len Cariou)

  • How crucial is Marty Baron’s outsider status to the events of the film? Why is he able to see what the others can’t? What happens to institutions that don’t make room for fresh perspectives?
  • The Spotlight journalists place a great deal of importance on ‘telling the story right’. What might it look like to investigate and write a story like this in an ethical way? What do you think the journalists owe to the survivors who have come forward?

‘Language is gonna be so important here. We can’t sanitise this.’ – Sacha

  • What does Spotlight have to say about the power of truth, and the power of listening to people who have been silenced? Which groups of people might be vulnerable to being silenced in our own society? How could we make sure that their voices are heard?
  • What do you think it meant by the term ‘spiritual abuse’, and why is this an important part of the survivors’ stories? (You might want to read more about the characteristics of spiritual abuse.)

‘This is not just physical abuse, it’s spiritual abuse too.’ –  Phil Saviano (Neal Huff)

  • How are the Spotlight journalists each impacted personally by the investigation? In particular, how did you feel about seeing Robbie confronted with his own complicity? What different reactions might people have to discovering that they are ‘part of the problem’?
  • In your view, is it still possible to have faith in God in a world where religious institutions have been responsible for many atrocities? What are we left with when we’re failed by people we have trusted as examples of goodness or morality?  Is there anything, or anyone, you feel able to have complete faith in?


© Entertainment One, 2016.
© Entertainment One, 2016.

Read More

‘Spotlight’ Director Tom McCarthy on Heroes, Healing and ‘The Cobbler’

Watching the Watchers: Tom McCarthy on Making Spotlight

Globe reporters tell their ‘Spotlight’ stories

“Spotlight” and Its Revelations


Published by

Sophie Lister

Damaris resources bring films to new audiences, start conversations, and enrich lives. Find out more at www.damarismedia.com Here at the Damaris Film Blog, we publish regular discussion guides to help you make the most of the latest cinema releases.

202 thoughts on “A closer look at… Spotlight”

  1. Pingback: m88cvf
  2. Pingback: celtic jewelry
  3. Pingback: Printers
  4. Pingback: download free
  5. Pingback: Denver Uber
  6. Pingback: Bilskrot Göteborg
  7. Pingback: dragon pharma
  8. Pingback: trump
  9. Pingback: top to bottom
  10. Pingback: this site
  11. Pingback: GVK BIO
  12. Pingback: GVK Biosciences
  13. Pingback: UK Chat
  14. Pingback: VideoJelly
  15. Pingback: Tour to Tamcoc
  16. Pingback: Saxon Musk
  17. Pingback: Jodie Fisher
  18. Pingback: friv.run
  19. Pingback: writing
  20. Pingback: anastrozol 1 mg
  21. Pingback: seo salt lake city
  22. Pingback: SIMAD UNIVERSITY
  23. Pingback: ixfap.ru
  24. Pingback: tubedom.ru
  25. Pingback: turkitub.ru
  26. Pingback: dextub.ru
  27. Pingback: rdk-shop.ru
  28. Pingback: mag-tube.ru
  29. Pingback: termo-36.ru
  30. Pingback: zumtub.ru
  31. Pingback: analsexnude.com
  32. Pingback: aliarabsex.com
  33. Pingback: urokitub.ru
  34. Pingback: alisexnude.com
  35. Pingback: izotertube.ru
  36. Pingback: stroimtub.ru
  37. Pingback: alixxxhard.com
  38. Pingback: alizum.ru
  39. Pingback: turismtube.ru
  40. Pingback: wlw.su
  41. Pingback: reshimtube.ru
  42. Pingback: mp3prof.com
  43. Pingback: sexviptube.com
  44. Pingback: xaxazu.ru
  45. Pingback: edemtube.ru
  46. Pingback: ehowtube.ru
  47. Pingback: komdeti.ru
  48. Pingback: m.alixxxhard.com
  49. Pingback: skinali5.ru
  50. Pingback: cosmo-tube.ru
  51. Pingback: maxitub.ru
  52. Pingback: Click here
  53. Pingback: url site
  54. Pingback: Anonymous
  55. Pingback: Pix link
  56. Pingback: See me
  57. Pingback: Site
  58. Pingback: My homepage
  59. Pingback: Homepage
  60. Pingback: www
  61. Pingback: Link
  62. Pingback: Video link
  63. Pingback: Read more
  64. Pingback: feed
  65. Pingback: See video
  66. Pingback: Go link
  67. Pingback: url
  68. Pingback: More
  69. Pingback: Source
  70. Pingback: Pic link
  71. Pingback: Origin site
  72. Pingback: Video site
  73. Pingback: main site
  74. Pingback: Origin
  75. Pingback: Website
  76. Pingback: See site
  77. Pingback: mine site
  78. Pingback: Source ixfap ru
  79. Pingback: url alisextube com
  80. Pingback: Web sarlazer ru
  81. Pingback: edemtube ru
  82. Pingback: Source kombat43 ru
  83. Pingback: See me inditub ru
  84. Pingback: Incest Art Pics
  85. Pingback: alicumshot com
  86. Pingback: Incest 3d Gallery
  87. Pingback: alisexpicture com
  88. Pingback: Incest Porn
  89. Pingback: Mother Son Porn
  90. Pingback: 3d Incest
  91. Pingback: Sis Fucked Bro
  92. Pingback: Incest 3d Videos
  93. Pingback: 3d Young Incest
  94. Pingback: Incest 3d Porn
  95. Pingback: 3d Incest Pics
  96. Pingback: Drawn Incest Pics
  97. Pingback: Incest Pictures
  98. Pingback: Drawing Incest
  99. Pingback: Bangs Mommas Pussy
  100. Pingback: 3d Toon Incest
  101. Pingback: Incest Cartoons
  102. Pingback: Brother Sister Sex
  103. Pingback: 3d Anime Cartoon
  104. Pingback: www aliassporn com
  105. Pingback: 3D Inceste Comique
  106. Pingback: Pic link mixfap ru
  107. Pingback: 3D Toon Inzest
  108. Pingback: Inzest 3d
  109. Pingback: incest porn sites
  110. Pingback: incestu porno
  111. Pingback: incest 3d toons
  112. Pingback: 3d Daddy Porn

Comments are closed.