Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God (2012) could not have had a more timely UK release. An exactingly well-researched documentary, Gibney strikes the fine balance of creating a story that kindles an incredible amount of rage at the events at hand, matched by the bigger picture of the inherent corruption in the Catholic church. Opening in a US school for the deaf in the late 1950s, we encounter Father Murphy; a man who, from photos and archive footage included in the documentary, initially appears like a caring, tender priest.
However, cameras don't always capture the truth. Throughout this heart-wrenching account, we're provided with tear-stained, powerful interviews from the paedophilic priest's now middle-aged victims, voiced by notable actors including Ethan Hawke, Chris Cooper and John Slatery.
Described as a "ravenous wolf", Murphy would stalk the dorm rooms of his flock back in the 1950s and 60s, selecting his victims. There are fleeting moments where Gibney falls into near sensationalist territory using unnecessary red washes on the footage containing Murphy.
Mea Maxima Culpa, tracing all the way back to the (apparently) not-so-Holy See of Rome.
The unfeeling actions of the Catholic church are explored through the political machinations and inherent corrupt of the catholic ecclesiastical system, where even when the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), an institution that one watched over the infamous Inquisition, headed up by Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratziner), buries the case.
We see a tirade of priests, cardinals and bishops behaving more like mob bosses than men of the cloth, all of whom prefer compliance with the likes of Mussolini's fascist state than solving the inbuilt problems of a corrupt institution. With Mea Maxima Culpa, Gibney has lifted a veil onto a presumed world of abuse and immorality.