Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House of God is the new movie by Oscar winning filmmaker Alex Gibney, examining the abuse of power in the Catholic Church through the story of four courageous young men. In the first known case of public protest of its kind, they set out to expose the priest who abused them.
It's a gripping tale and their quest takes the group from Milwaukee to the churches of Ireland, all the way to the highest office of the Vatican. Though big-budget Oscar bait dominates this week's movie releases, it is Mea Maxima Culpa that holds the most positive set of reviews. Revered critic Roger Ebert said in the Chicago Sun-Times, "To someone who was raised and educated in the Catholic school system, as I was, a film like this inspires shock and outrage." Andrew O'Hehir of Salon.com as equally complimentary, writing, "Partly an inspiring saga of growing "deaf power" and human resilience, and partly a murky and fragmentary drama about an immense, closed-minded bureaucracy with paranoid and conspiratorial tendencies that finds itself unable to adjust to the modern world." The New York Times' A.O Scott congratulated Gibney on another superb documentary, writing, "There is something to be said for a clear and unblinking recitation of facts, and thankfully Mr. Gibney does a lot of that."
Gibney has sensational form with documentaries; Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room was nominated for the Oscar for Best Documentary in 2005, while Client 9: The Rise of Fall of Eliot Spitzer was shortlisted in 2011. Taxi to the Dark Side also won the award in 2007, focusing on an innocent taxi driver who was tortured and killed at Braham Air Force Base in Afghanistan in 2002.