February 21, 2006

Far off in Montana, story of Salem man's abuse unfolds

Salem News

By Tom Dalton
Staff writer

SALEM Joe Cultrera, a documentary filmmaker from New York City, has come home again to tell a story. It is not the first time.

He made "Leather Soul" years ago, a film about Peabody leather workers, narrated by writer Studs Terkel. And he came home a decade ago to do "Witch City," a searing look at his hometown of Salem and its descent into Halloween madness.

But this time is different.

This story is about his family his brother, in particular. It is a personal and painful and took two years to make. It is the story of the sexual abuse of his older brother, Paul, by the late Rev. Joseph Birmingham, a serial predator who served at St. James Parish in Salem in the 1960s.

Today, far away in Montana, "Hand of God" will premiere at The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, its first stop on a whirlwind tour across the country. It also has been selected by film festivals in Arizona, Oregon, California and Florida and is expected to be shown back here later this year.

Posted by kshaw at February 21, 2006 01:39 PM