Saturday, July 17, 2010

Protest the Pope film season launched

Protest the Pope film season launched – buy tickets now
As part of the Protest the Pope campaign, the National Secular Society is presenting a short season of films which explore issues that the Catholic Church and the Government would prefer were kept under wraps during the papal visit. The authorities in this country refuse to ask difficult questions of the pope – so we will do it for them. Each of these powerful films illustrates clearly why the Pope should be made to answer for the many sins of his Church. The showings will be at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL.

Monday 13 September, 7.30pm


A look at life inside one of the notorious Magdalene Asylums where women — who the Catholic Church adjudged to have stepped out of line in some way — were incarcerated and abused. A chilling portrayal of what happens when the state gives unfettered power to a religious institution which then uses it to literally batter the population into submission. Survivors of the Magdalene laundries are still fighting for the Vatican to recognise the enormous suffering inflicted on them by the Church.

Tuesday 14 September, 7.30pm


A truly shocking, Oscar-nominated documentary by Amy Berg. This is the story of Father Oliver O'Grady, a paedophile priest who was moved by the Catholic Church from parish to parish in the US, permitting him to continue his campaign of rape and exploitation in new settings. The film exposes the corruption inside the Catholic Church that allowed O’Grady to repeatedly gain the trust of congregations and then betray them by abusing their children. It also illustrates the heartless indifference that the Vatican showed to the victims of this man who was their representative and used their authority to conduct his grotesque abuses.

Wednesday 15 September, 7.30pm


This multi-award winning documentary at last tells the truth about the almost unbelievable abuse and murder that took place in the Church-run Indian Residential Schools in Canada. It also explores Rev Kevin Annett’s efforts to document and make public these crimes – and the efforts of the church to stop him.

First-hand testimonies from residential school survivors are interwoven with Annett’s own story of how he faced firing, “de-frocking”, and the loss of his family, reputation and livelihood as a result of his efforts to help survivors and bring out the truth of the residential schools.

This saga goes on, as Annett continues his struggle to hold the government and churches of Canada to account for crimes against humanity.

Unrepentant took nineteen months to film, primarily in British Columbia and Alberta, and is based on Kevin Annett’s book Hidden from History: The Canadian Holocaust. The entire film was a self-funded, grassroots effort, which is reflected in its earthy and human quality. We are delighted that Kevin Annett will be present at the screening to introduce the film and answer questions.

Thursday 16 September 7.30pm


Set in Mexico in 2002, this film follows the experiences of a young, idealistic, priest who is sent to a small parish to assist the ageing Father Benito. It soon becomes apparent that the Church is a hotbed of corruption and hypocrisy and the young Father Amaro (played by Gael Garcia Bernal) is sorely tested and slowly drawn in.

The Catholic Church in Mexico declared that seeing this film was a mortal sin, but despite (or was it because of?) this, it became the country’s most popular film ever. Directed by Carlos Carrera.

The film will be preceded by a talk by David Ranan, author of Double Cross: Code of the Catholic Church – a book that exposes the corruption that has been at the heart of the Church since its very foundation.

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