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Review: Standing Silent

Scott Rosenfelt's intense documentary
By PETER KEOUGH  |  November 1, 2011
2.5 2.5 Stars



The revelation of systemic child molestation in the Catholic Church overshadows its existence in other religious institutions. Phil Jacobs, a reporter for the Baltimore Jewish Times, was determined to research accusations of similar abuse in that city's Orthodox Jewish community. He encountered denial, concealment, and hostility, and as a member of that community, he was ostracized and threatened, as were the few brave victims who spoke out. But Jacobs persevered, printed stories, and started to get some people arrested. He was driven by journalistic ideals, but also by his own history: he had himself been molested as a youth. It's a complex story and director Scott Rosenfelt tries to do it all justice in 80 minutes. But he doesn't help his cause by indulging in split screens and other tricks. They are sometimes gratuitous, often heavy-handed, and mostly distract from intense material that needs no enhancement.

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