I felt absolutely queasy going into a screening of Renée Blanchar’s documentary The Silence, and my worst fears were discovered.
This is an unrelenting, unabashedly honest portrayal of the sexual abuse committed by priests on children in francophone towns in New Brunswick for 30 years, beginning in the 1950s.
Perhaps what surprised me most about Blanchar’s look into this seedy world wasn’t the abuse itself, but the way communities and the church swept it all under the rug. It was as if keeping it quiet meant these things didn’t exist.
This has left a lasting impact on victims, who are so honest – so raw – about their struggles here, I have no doubt you’ll tear up or have to look away on a few occasions.
From Bathurst and Moncton to Tracadie and more, it’s insane to know even in 2021, people were still upset to have these things come to light. No, it’s not okay to let sleeping dogs lie, and these victims deserved this platform.
With some of the most explosive interviews I’ve seen come out of Canadian documentaries in years, The Silence is anything but.