February 20, 2005

Out of the shadows: When news inspires media

Orlando Sentinel

By Hal Boedeker | Sentinel Television Critic
Posted February 20, 2005

After victims of priest abuse criticized a truck commercial as insensitive, Ford Motor Co. pulled the spot from the Super Bowl. Yet the molestation scandal has an increasing presence in the arts, where it animates major stage, film and television dramas.

The play Doubt pushes the audience to wonder whether a popular priest has abused a lonely boy. Bolstered by rave reviews, the drama by Oscar-winner John Patrick Shanley (Moonstruck) transfers to Broadway next month.

The Spanish film Bad Education uses a priest's abusive behavior as the starting point for a dark thriller. Director Pedro Almodovar tells the twisty drama with flourishes reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock.

The TV docudrama Our Fathers explains how sex-abuse revelations shook the Boston Archdiocese. The film, premiering in May on Showtime, depicts how a dogged lawyer (Ted Danson) took on the secretive church.

More stories of abuse are on the way. David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says his Chicago-based group hears every few weeks from authors and playwrights working on new projects. He saw the Ford commercial as wrongheaded and glib, but he has more mixed feelings about the arts' approach.

Posted by kshaw at February 20, 2005 08:16 AM