In 2002 a small investigative unit on the Boston Globe published a series of articles in which they proved that the Catholic Church has systematically covered up hundreds of cases of child sex abuse by dozens of priests over decades. The story helped create an outpouring of testimony that exposed just how global the scandal truly was - with abuse and cover-ups in many American parishes, but also in most every other country. For that reason alone, this film is an important one.
But in focussing on the Spotlight team, and the scandal in Boston, the movie is saying about the kinds of community where all the institutions act as a closed shop of mutual self-interest and authority cannot be questioned. To that end, I could see strong parallels to how the scandal played out in Boston and Ireland. Because what was worse than the abuse, was the way in which the Church used all the levers of power - police, law, press - to suppress the story and silence the victims. In doing so, the initial crime was massively accelerated as priests were left in the community to continue offending.