Amy Berg’s 2006 documentary, Deliver Us From Evil, examines the disturbing story of serial child molester Oliver O’Grady and his decades-long reign of terror in Southern California parishes. O’Grady, a Catholic priest, was responsible for the abuse of dozens of innocent children who were left in his care. Despite being aware of O’Grady’s heinous crimes as early as 1973, the Church chose to simply transfer him from one congregation to another rather than report him to authorities or strip him of his ordination.
The film interweaves harrowing accounts from O’Grady’s victims and their families with an incisive look at how the hierarchy within the Catholic Church has often prioritized its own interests over those of its worshipers. The documentary also features an unsettlingly candid interview with O’Grady himself in which he recounts his misdeeds in vivid detail. After serving time in prison for his crimes, he now lives in Ireland and is still looked after by Catholic clergy.
Deliver Us From Evil is a powerful reminder that too many perpetrators have managed to evade justice for far too long—and a call for greater accountability within the Church itself. It’s an essential watch for anyone looking to gain a better understanding of child abuse and how it can be prevented. Berg has crafted an informative yet emotionally resonant piece that sheds light on a difficult topic while making sure not to victimize those already affected by such devastating trauma.