Happy Thursday MMT Family! I’m officially on vacation, but wanted to share a few “Netflix Picks” for you from June. To say I was fascinated, and often overwhelmed, while viewing my first choice – THE KEEPERS – is a gross understatement. This seven part docuseries is centered around the 1969 unsolved murders of Sister Catherine Cesnik and Joyce Helen Malecki – and their link to a priest accused of horrific sexual assaults/abuses.
Unfortunately, I was not aware of the latter part prior to watching this highly recommended series, and so I want to caution readers and give an extreme trigger warning – as multiple victims give very detailed descriptions of various assaults.
As grotesque as the subject matter is, the documentary was brilliant in its depiction of crimes committed over four decades ago – and the cinematography often resembled that of a sophisticated horror/thriller, with elements of deception, spook and dread.
I don’t want to give too much away, as there is something to the “what happens next” vibe of this crime show, but I will say that it doesn’t end in a justice as we’d like it way – since many of the alledged perpetrators of the crimes committed have died, in additional to the several legal hiccups discussed in the film.
What I do want to emphasize is the bravery exhibited by many of the victims, in particular Jean Wehner – who was manipulated by the priest (Joseph Maskell) at the center of the abuse scandal and describes not only sexual abuse, but a repressed memory of Maskell taking her to view Sister Catherine’s corpse, while simultaneously issuing a threat to her life.
Wehner was part of a class action 1994 lawsuit against Maskell – with her and an additional complaintant losing per Maryland’s statue of limitations.
Also worth mentioning is the amazing investigative journalism and crime solving performed by two amateurs and former students of Sister Catherine – Gemma Hoskins and Abbie Schaub – with a passion for exposing the truth and finding justice for their beloved teacher. You can follow their continued fight at The Keepers Official Group — Justice for Catherine Cesnik and Joyce Malecki facebook page.
My second pick deals with the same topic of abuse – with a viewing payoff in knowing it is not only a true story, but that justice was served. I’m referring to the film SPOTLIGHT – which highlights the Pulitzer prize-winning Boston Globe news team that unearthed a cover-up of abuse throughout the Roman Catholic church. You can read my full November 2015 review of the film in the archives (sorry family, my hyperlinks aren’t working on this computer I’m using temporarily in New Orleans!).
And for my third pick from this month was one I’d also previously reviewed in November 2016, but it was recently put on the streaming service and I needed the comic relief. So, after you watch the heaviness mentioned above, you can get a few healthy, fun and kid-friendly laughs with one of my favorite 2016 films – TROLLS. Not only is the music phenomenal, but it really is a fun story – and I didn’t think it was as overtop for kids as some of the kid films I’d viewed the last couple of years.
Alright family, you’ll be hearing from me next week, but until then I’ll be living it up in the Big Easy! Share a comment or two after you’ve viewed the picks mentioned and let me know what you think.
Until next thought, Thomasena