Deliver Us From Evil is a devastating investigation into the Catholic Church’s pedophilia scandals, the film begins by looking into one priest, Father Oliver O’Grady, who agreed to be interviewed by filmmaker Amy Berg.
O’Grady’s genial calm is at first ingratiating, until he begins to describe his crimes with an unsettling sociopathic detachment. But O’Grady’s blithe interview is only half of the story, as the documentary film also unveils how church superiors covered up O’Grady’s crimes and shuffled him from diocese to diocese in northern California, finally placing him in an unsupervised position of authority in a small town, where he sexually assaulted dozens of children, the video deposition of L.A Cardinal Roger Mahoney is a grotesque portrait in brittle denial.
What makes his documentary crucial viewing is the remarkable interviews with a few of the victims (now adults) and their parents, whose stories are wrenching and riveting. With the support of a priest seeking to reform the church, two of the victims actually go to the Pope, seeking some form of help in addressing O’Grady’s crimes.