Directed By: Robert Green
Where I Watched It: Netflix
English Audio Description Available?: Yes
The Plot: A group of men unpack their sexual abuse and childhood trauma they experienced while growing up Catholic, by working with a dramatic therapist that encourages them to write and direct short films that explain what happened to them as children.
What Works: As of this writing, I’ve seen three of the five nominees for Best Documentary, and I honestly don’t understand how Procession was left off. Maybe voters found the format in which these victims chose to share their traumatic pasts with the world to be abnormal, but often times when you’re in therapy, especially for such a long period of time, radical options may in fact be the most helpful.
While it is incredibly hard to watch these men stage short films around child abuse and rape, for which I applaud the young actor used in those short films for his participation, the story is real. It is simply just a reenactment, much the same way fellow nominee Flee manages to incorporate flashbacks. The biggest and most rewarding difference is that the men end up acting in each other’s films, helping each other through their varied horrifying experiences. Each one is unique, and no one got off easy here. As you keep hearing and uncovering these stories, you realize we still have a very real problem in this world. And for a population that is so heavily focused and hellbent on the Me 2 movement, it shocks me that a film like Procession, which essentially pulls back a secret curtain shielding the world for a dark truth that pedophiles are much closer than you think, would be ignored this year.
I just heard someone comment that it was hard for them to enjoy Death on The Nile because all they could think about was Armie Hammer’s penchant for “cannibalism”. But listen to these stories, and instead of feeling uncomfortable by Armie Hammer, think about these stories the next time you head out for mass.
What Doesn’t Work: That this film failed to get a nomination for Best Documentary. I’ve come to accept that this year was a tremendous year for documentaries, and Procession joins films like Val and LFG that did not make the cut this year.
The Blind Perspective: There is description, but it isn’t heavy, as this documentary features a lot of dialogue, and they never talk on top of other people. however, it does a good job explaining the “what”, but considering I have no idea what these guys look like, or specifically their ages, that would have been a nice touch to include. Some ages are revealed by the guys just in conversation, but not all.
Final Thoughts: Just another great documentary I’ll be remembering for years to come. I’ve already given Summer Of Soul and Attica solid A scores, and while I have not reviewed LFG, it would have also gotten one. So this is now the fourth documentary that I’m proud to stamp an A on.
Final Grade: A