I recently got the opportunity to watch Spotlight (I’m always down for a good journalism film) and, I have to say, I loved it, even if I am a bit late to the party.
For those of you who don’t know, the movie follows the Boston Globe’s Spotlight investigative journalism team as they investigate sexual abuse in the Catholic church and the resulting cover-ups, winning a Pulitzer prize in the process. It had all the hallmarks of a great journalism film: a crack team wading through a swamp of obstacles because of a higher calling to report truth and help people.
It struck me as interesting that this type of movie is so fascinating to American audiences. Something about the idea of a team of people getting together to try to win a victory for the people over and in spite of the big and the powerful has always been intoxicating to audiences. It’s like its hardwired into our national DNA, part of american culture. We love stories of underdogs taking on the big guy and winning. Maybe it gives us all hope — maybe we can be the underdog that wins. Maybe we love it because it shows that evil in the world can, and does, meet its match. I feel like this idea, uncovering the truth in spite of the obstacles put in place by those more powerful is as attractive today as it has been for years. This drive to uncover corruption is what drove the team at the Boston Globe, and the love of that sort of narrative is what drove the creation of the film.