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Hand of God

An Intensely personal and poetic look at Catholic clergy abuse told through a survivor & his family.

Overview

Genre
Social Issues, Religion, Culture, Society, and Personal Doc
Synopsis

With intellect, humor, and a deep sense of betrayal, Salem filmmaker Joe Cultrera examines his brother Paul's sexual abuse at the hands of Father Joseph E. Birmingham and the culture of "corporate faith" that allowed similar abuses to continue unchecked for decades. His family's struggle with their faith in church and community boils over as Paul uncovers evidence of the Boston Archdiocese’s systematic cover-up of clergy abuse years before the Boston Globe brought the story to the front page. The closing of St. Mary's Italian church in Salem, built with the donations and sweat equity of the Cultrera's close-knit community, sparks an emotional exchange between Paul Sr. and the clergy at the final Mass, and the filmmaker finds himself in an unexpected confrontation with Bishop Richard Lennon. This intensely personal, poetic and outspoken documentary burrows to the root of a crisis that has affected millions of tradition bound believers.

Stage
finished
Running time
93 and 80 minutes

Credits

Production Details

Prod. Co.
Zingerplatz Pictures
Country
United States
Years of Production
2003 - 2006
Locations
Salem, MA and Boston area; Sacramento, CA; New York, NY
Prod. Partners
Laura Corwin; Hugh Walsh

Distribution Details

Release year
2007
Festivals
Big Sky; Sedona; Cinequest; Florida; Tupelo; Ashland Independent; Boston International; DOCNZ; Calgary International; Connecticut ; Mount Shasta; Vermont International ; Kansas International; S.N.O.B; St. Louis; Santa Fe
Awards
Audience Award - Ashland Independent Film Fest; Best Documentary - Tupelo Film Fest; Audience Award - Kansas International Film Fest; Best Documentary - Somewhere North of Boston Film Fest; Special Recognition - Boston International Film Fest
Distribution
Zingerplatz Pictures; Smiley Film Distribution; PBS Home Video
Broadcast (Acq.)
PBS Frontline
Language
English
Subtitles
Italian

Photos

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