Procession Review – Stronger Together, the documentary available on Netflix that tells how some victims of sexual abuse find their strength through the art of cinema.
How we will have the opportunity to learn more about ours Procession review – Stronger together, the documentary available on Netflix it is not a work to be approached in a superficial and simple way. Indeed, within it, precisely because of the structure, the themes and even the title itself, one perceives a story that transcends simple documentation, going deep into personal experiences and establishing a dialogue between different staging. The Italian subtitle best describes the meaning of the operation carried out by director Robert Greene: a eulogy to communion, sharing and dialogue, to the oral story that turns into a cinematographic work, not linked to a single individual but to a group of people who, precisely in being part of a collective, build the possibility of taking back a denied power. To stop being victims and finally return to live.
Exorcise the power of the Church
A story of healing. We could summarize in a few simple words the story documented, day by day, step by step, in Procession – Stronger together. The film focuses on the story of six Kansas City men who were sexually abused by members of the Catholic Church when they were still children. Carriers of trauma that does not find outlet, the six are called by Rebecca Randles, a lawyer who specializes in cases of this type, and by Monica Phinney, a dramatist who helps patients to express themselves in order to process their terrible trauma through the use intentional of theatrical role-playing techniques for therapeutic purposes. Where justice does not arrive, art arrives. The six men, each with their own obstacles to overcome, each with their own fears and memories to exorcise, will decide to create a series of short films, based on their past, to finally feel free of the weight they have been carrying for years, trying to take back that long denied power. The film is presented immediately through one of the sequences of the “film within the film”, clearly of a horror matrix. A first reversal of roles in which, contrary to what happens in classic fictional stories, the demon to be exorcised is linked to the Church.
The procession to try
The original title Procession it seems to have a double meaning. On the one hand, the reference is to the liturgical ceremony, in which the gaze is placed on a relic to be adored, as an act of a relationship that binds man to God and to the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, however, it is the awareness of processing what has been experienced, overcoming some obstacles, especially mental, which have defined and blocked the lives of the victims, in order to at least be able to live with the trauma. With a dialogue that takes place throughout the film, we are witnessing a distortion rather than a parodic overturning of ecclesiastical functions. Even the most banal phrases acquire a dark meaning, transforming Procession not only into a therapeutic film, but also into an indictment and denunciation of the Catholic Church. Hence a third meaning that we can apply to the title: that of a trial, in which finally a jury, composed of the spectator, can listen to the testimonies and give strength to these life stories.
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The imperfection of anger
Following the film project and constantly changing face (the film is a documentary, an indictment, a set of fictional short films based on reality, a testimony, but also a reasoned film and at times too studied to reach the majority of the public ), Procession also gives free rein to the anger, even irrational, that often exudes from the six men. It is a rage that is sometimes so visceral, so eager to escape that it displaces the viewer and can even annoy him, but which is otherwise so true that it can build an emotional bond that will find its peak in the finale.
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As spectators we witness the painful and not simple path that the six decide to tackle, not excluding a certain difficulty along the vision, both for the topics dealt with and a lot of insistence, and for the duration that at times tends to show certain dynamics a little ‘too repeated, but as human beings we can’t help but get caught up in the courage and strength shown by the group in front of the camera. Proof that sharing, the dialogue between screen and viewer, make cinema and art a perfect as well as unusual therapy to heal.
We conclude our review of Procession – Stronger together by underlining how the documentary available on Netflix is not only a film in which a strong empathy is created with the protagonists of the story, but also a strong and courageous indictment against the Church. Through drama therapy, the six victims of sexual abuse go through a path of personal healing that does not leave indifferent. At that point, a long duration strongly based on themes that are not easy to assimilate is forgiven: a sharing group has been created with the viewer and the exorcism is complete.
Because we like it
- The unfiltered frankness with which certain issues are addressed.
- The sometimes angry, sometimes emotional story of the protagonists.
- Reflection on the power of art and of creating a group to exorcise one’s traumas.
- Some dynamics a little too repeated over the course of the two hours.
- The topics dealt with and a lot of insistence could make it difficult to see.