The Club (El Club)

3.5 out of 5 stars

This quietly powerful Chilean film tackles the same delicate subject as the latest Oscar winner and it equally demands your attention and time if you can seek it out in your local arthouse cinema. The spotlight is on a bunch of ex- priests, who for one reason or another, are kept hidden away in a small fishing village and conveniently forgotten by the Catholic Church until an event takes place and their existence can no longer be ignored. The narrative never goes for easy options or succumbs to clichés and often you are never quite sure which way it is heading and the result is a thoughtful and balanced investigation from all sides of the issue: from the priests to their victims; the way the old Church dealt with the problem and what the new, more progressive generation plan to do to resolve it. When a film manages to make you feel a little sorry for the predatory (and often unrepentant) priests, there is no denying its power. This is serious drama about a serious subject and it is shot in such way that all colours seem to have been drained away deliberately leaving only grey – befitting the tone and the stance of the film.

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