‘Calvary’ is the tale of a Catholic priest who receives a death threat from one of his parishioners who was abused by a priest as a child.
It is John Michael McDonagh's second movie after the much acclaimed ‘The Guard’ and has already raked in several prizes on the film festival circuit ahead of its official release.
The movie is unflinching in its description of sexual abuse by members of the Church, a scandal which fully emerged with a 2009 report that revealed how rape and sexual molestation was “endemic” in Ireland’s church-run institutions.
“It’s such a difficult, disturbing, horrible, evil subject – the clerical abuse scandals – why would you want to get into it in a sort of blatant, obvious way? It was best to approach it obliquely and get some comedy in there,” said McDonagh.
Lead actor Brendan Gleeson has received wide critical praise for his role as the Catholic priest. He says though it was shot on location in Ireland, the film’s message is universal.
“It’s obviously culturally set there and actually the landscape and stuff is a character in itself. So it is a very Irish film in a lot of ways, but I hope it’s about things that are far more universal than that. And I hope it’s beyond even the notion of Catholicism or even established religion. I’m hoping people can respond to it without feeling that they needed to be raised a Catholic or something to understand it,” said the Irish actor.
Also starring Chris O’Dowd, Aidan Gillen and Kelly Reilly, ‘Calvary’ is out in the UK and Ireland this month.