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Conspiracy of Silence
Conspiracy of Silence
Actors: Jonathan Forbes, Hugh Bonneville, Brenda Fricker, Sean McGinley, Hugh Quarshie
Director: John Deery
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2005     1hr 30min

Ripped from todays headlines, Conspiracy of Silence is a controversial thriller that dares to ask the question: How far will the Catholic Church go to cover up its own corruption? Set in modern-day Ireland, Conspiracy of S...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Jonathan Forbes, Hugh Bonneville, Brenda Fricker, Sean McGinley, Hugh Quarshie
Director: John Deery
Creators: John Deery, Amanda Coombes, Amit Barooah, Charlie Savill, Davina Stanley, Keith Hayley, Matthew Hobbs
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Religion, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: TLA
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 07/19/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A Very Fine, Fascinating Film That Seems to be Unfinished
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 08/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE is a moody, dark, probing inquiry into the concept of celibacy of priests in the Catholic Church in Ireland and all the way to the Vatican. The concept, story and script by Writer/Director John Deery are tight, arrow sharp in aim, but ultimately unresolved issues cloud the success of what could have been a pungent movie.

Set in a seminary in Ireland for preparing young men for the priesthood, we are introduced to some warmly human characters such as Daniel McLaughlin (Jonathan Forbes), a squeaky clean lad who gave up a girlfriend Sinead (Catherine Walker) to follow his (and his family's) life ambition to become a priest. Naive, warm, loving, athletic and bright, he is the seminary poster boy - until one evening after hours he innocently visits a fellow seminarian's room and is the focus of seduction by the student who kindly says 'we're all only human and have our needs'. Daniel gently declines the advances, leaves the student's room but is observed by an old priest with demons of his own. The priest reports the incident and Daniel is abruptly thrown out of the seminary by the evil Rector Cathal (Sean McGinley) for being homosexual - a charge that couldn't be farther from the truth.

At the same time in another part of the seminary the fine Father Sweeney dresses in all his priestly regalia and commits suicide is a gruesome way. His suicide is threatening to the staff of the seminary and a cover-up is immediately put in place. It seems Father Sweeney some four years ago had stirred controversy in the Vatican by publicly exposing his HIV status, alerting the Church and the world that HIV was rampant in the world wide Church. His partner left the priesthood, disillusioned, but following FR Sweeney to the seminary in Ireland.

An earnest reporter David Foley (Jason Barry) begins the investigation of the suicide and in doing so finds the reason for Daniel's expulsion as well as the myriad dark secrets being covered by the Church - all to do with the concept of celibacy and the inevitable sequelae of sensual deprivation on priests. One Father Jack Dowling (Hugh Bonneville) supports David and Daniel and is disenchanted with the behavior of the Church against its own priests. Then, without resolving any of these fascinating strings of thought the movie ends, leaving many questions unanswered - as though there are no answers.

The acting is uniformly strong (including the likes of Brenda Fricker as Daniel's mother et al), for once giving a spectrum of the priesthood that is not favoring bad or good. These characters are men with convictions and none can be faulted for their stances. The setting in Ireland is magnificently captured by cinematographer Jason Lehel, and Francis Haines and Stephen W. Parsons provide a hauntingly beautiful musical score. As far as it takes us this is a fine film. Perhaps Deery is planning Part II to finish this story! Grady Harp, August 05

Celibate or not to be celibate? That IS the question in CONS
KerrLines | Baltimore,MD | 11/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"John Deery's debut written and directed social commentary thriller CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE from 2003 is an excellent and riveting look at the question of celibacy in The Irish Catholic Church.The question is raised that the humanity of priests has been denied since the 12th Century, and that the enforced sexual denial that is imposed upon them has lead to all sorts of lies,cover ups, but ultimately many unhappy men.That the Church has continued to enforce the celibacy rule while knowingly allowing the rule to continually be broken at the highest levels, and yet covered up and silenced is the heart of this well done, but still first attempt by film maker Deery.This film examines all sexual proclivity when it comes to the Priesthood and concludes that 100,000 Priests had vacated the Priesthood by the year he film was debuted.This is not a perfect film, though.There are many story lines introduced in this film, yet many of them are either rushed, not fully developed or simply left unresolved.The ending seems very rushed as if funding may have been limited in order to complete the film;but having said that, this film still is compelling enough in that it raises some very interesting and thought-provoking issues about human nature and the nature of taking vows to serve God in a place where being totally naturally human may be impossible.This is not a Catholic bashing film.It simply presents a side of the coin about which many have questioned over the years, be they Catholic or not.This film does boast an EXCEPTIONAL soundtrack and cinematography.Keep an eye out for more of John Deery in the future.We all start somewhere!
The fact that just yesterday. The Roman Catholic Church paid out $50 M to 100 Alaskan Natives for sexual abuse practices makes this film all the more timely.The Church cannot continue to turn its back on the truth...because eventually the truth WILL set them and their victims free."
It's not bashing
William P. Ruspantine | 04/12/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I can tell you as a former minor seminary student..the faculty were dictators. i was 14 years old when i entered st charles college in catonsville md. NONE of the students who made it to ordination, were fully matured as men, let alone ready to lead a flock in the real world. the church wanted who,they could control.the real world is to blame, not the leaders and the vatican.their braibwashing almost destroyed me. this is a sin, that's a sin. itn took me to my 50th year to realize I am a human being, not a machine controlled by "the holyman" and the red bird unless mr brunson, if you haven't experienced seminary life back in the 50s,then your review of BASHING is misinformed. i could tell you a whole lot of what went docterine teaches that priests are true representatives of christ on earth, not car salesmen, not politicans,yep, organized crime had the church in their pocket.I've seen the product of the priests who attended the seminary as I did. control, greed, lust for power. it's the same as any cutthroat corporation."