A crisis counselor is sent by the Catholic Church to a small Chilean beach town where disgraced priests and nuns, suspected of crimes ranging from child abuse to baby-snatching from unwed mothers, live secluded, after an incident occurs.
Four catholic priests, now excommunicated, share a secluded house in a small coastal house of Chile where they are are supposed to atone for their sins. Their quiet routine, placed under the supervision of Mother Monica, is disturbed by the coming of a fifth man. The newcomer, a pedophile, appears as a most unwelcome reminder of their own tainted lives...Written by
TIFF 2015 -- The Club: Exposing evil through brutal honesty
Pablo Larrain (No) returns with another story that shadows his country with 'The Club'. Before the details emerge, this story is nothing like 'No'.
'The Club' takes place in the somewhat remote coastal village of La Boca Navidad where a house of secret guests exists: they are either child molesters, baby snatchers, or were active supporters of Pinochet, and they were all Priests. They have all been excommunicated from the Catholic Church for their crimes and sent away to this house as not to harm the Church's image instead of being put in the public eye and then thrown in jail. The house is quarterbacked by a Nun who also suffered a similar fate as her house guests.
One day, a new guest comes to join The Club, only to be eventually tracked down by a former altar boy who shouted claims of constant abuse from outside the house for him to hear. Not long after, we learn that these claims are true, and the reaction sets off a further investigation into the requirement for the house and the livelihood of the guests who reside there.
'The Club' isn't an artistic work that should be shared for praise and glorified for any kind of distinction. Instead, it clearly details the horrific nature of how the Catholic Church deals with their worst offenders — by putting them in houses in rural locations, 100% funded by the Church. As the film progresses, we learn that the house mates have ways of passing the time — good and bad. Some are healthy, while others are vices. Eventually, when the house comes under inspection by the Church as to whether it should remain or not, extreme actions are taken to try and keep things intact.
While advertised as a dark comedy, this film is almost nowhere near that. It was intended to show the evil behind the Church, and that its image cannot be tarnished. In a continent that houses 40% of the world's Catholics, a film like this definitely sticks a thorn in the Church's side. It gets dark, it gets rather nasty, it gets brutal, but, while it's just a story with fictional accounts, they were created via true stories over the years.
Watch this film with the expectation that you will be shocked by what you see and hear, but hopefully you will be moved enough to know that there's evil where good supposedly resides.
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