TRIGGER WARNING: Mentions of Sexual Abuse
In his latest documentary about Catholic Church sex abuse, Robert Green shares directing credits with 6 middle-aged midwestern men who went through the unspeakable during their childhood. Procession on Netflix is awaiting its release on November 12 in theaters and November 19 on the streaming platform.
What is Procession on Netflix about?
As survivors of any form of abuse would know, healing doesn’t come easily. It takes years of character development and growth to forget the past and come to terms with it. And yet, a single act or incident can trigger their PTSD, reversing all the progress made.
Six middle-aged men came together with the American documentary filmmaker, editor, and writer to create a masterpiece. The men were all survivors of Catholic sex abuse at the hands of priests and clergymen. A church, for them, was not a place that could provide them with any form of peace whatsoever.
And so working with Greene on Procession would allow them to speak out against the wrongs they’ve been through, using “drama therapy”. The documentary received massively positive critical acclaim at the Telluride Film Festival.
How does Procession help the men or other victims of Church sex abuse?
As an experimental healing catharsis inspired by drama, Greene brought these men together to direct a film based on their sufferings. The process of this collaborative teamwork would urge them to create fictional scenes based on memories, experiences, and dreams. The documentary Procession surrounds traditions, cultures, rituals, and hierarchies of the Catholic church system.
In an interview with IndieWire, Greene mentioned how “the filmmaking decisions are all tied into choices to be therapeutic.”
And so, in a very Charles Dickens and David Copperfield style, the men were given a platform to grow out of their trauma by putting all their anger and distress into art. Each survivor was writing their own script and directing it themselves. The end results were collaborated to create something all victims of similar abuse could see themselves in.
Not only did Procession prove to be something that allowed the six men to reclaim their voices, but it also became a platform. The men now had a voice that would not only allow but also encourage them to speak against a failed legal system that provided a safe space for the culprits to do something as immoral, unethical, and downright abhorrent as sexual abuse.
With Netflix having over 200 million users, the documentary is bound to leave a mark.