Netflix documentary creates a platform for victims of Catholic Priest

By Andres Lopez

“Procession” is a documentary that is impactful and focuses on the darkness that some have experienced with Catholic priests.

“Procession” begins with a video from a press conference in Kansas City, Missouri in August 2018. 

Rebeca Randle, an attorney, accompanies the six men who tell their story of when they were sexually assaulted by Catholic priests, and how it impacted them throughout their childhood. 

When the filmmakers saw that press conference, they contacted attorney Randle, the six men, and a drama therapist Monica Phinney, which then led to the collaborative three-year project.

Survivors, Michael Sandrige, Tom Viviano, Dan Laurine, Joe Eldred, Ed Gavigan, and Mike Foreman meet up and begin their therapy session together. 

While they begin their therapy session, they also begin to create their concepts for five films that will reenact their sexual abuse trauma. 

As Phinney, the drama therapist, put it, “Trauma is a sticky sort of thing stuck in our brain that is hard to break free unless you put it out in the world.” 

The type of therapy the men went through was more of confrontational therapy. 

Filmmakers and victims worked together to create storyboards, source locations, write scripts, and cast roles all based on their memories of the trauma and facing their fears through it.

A recurring theme in “Procession” is confrontation mainly because the men faced their nightmares and were able to overcome that fear after not returning to that place for years. 

It was very difficult for all the men to revisit the locations because it brought tears to their eyes. 

It took time for the men to feel comfortable enough to start recording their films there. 

Throughout the journey, the men supported each other and some of them reenacted the scene if the others couldn’t do it. 

The survivors all shared their positivity and all went through the same experiences, being able to push each other together. 

The audience can see the process of how the trauma and the filming of it worked together to help captivate the feeling of sadness and fear that the men were feeling at that moment.

After the men were able to overcome their fear they were able to finish their films and recreate the experience that each of them had. 

Each film included a boy named Terrick who represented the men as they experienced the abuse as kids.

The film was created to try to make their voices heard, give the men the justice they deserve, and to lock away the priests that abused them.  

The documentary was a good way for the men to get their point across for redemption.

 It is a really sad and true story.

It is obvious how difficult it was for the men to deal with their past, even as adults.

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