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


Hog-05_thumb

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 or 80 minutes

Links

Official Website

Hand of God Official Website

Buy this film

Buy DVD

Credits

Joe Cultrera ... Director, Editor, Writer

Production Details

Prod. Co.

Zingerplatz Pictures

Country

United States

Production years

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