When 34-year-old Toledo firefighter Tony Comes was a boy, his religious teacher and priest, Dennis Gray, sexually molested him repeatedly. Twist of Faith is documentary-maker Kirby Dick's direct and devastating film on the subject. He simply and effectively presents Comes' story, incorporating footage of Gray's deposition. Despite having seen many news stories and fictional works about the abuse of children by priests and the cover-up by the Catholic Church, I was still moved and disturbed by Twist of Faith. The reason, I think, is that the crisply-edited production has faces. Often, features on the subject show the key figures in silhouette, or with the faces blurred. Not here. Tony Comes' face is right there, wearing the pain, the confusion, the guilt, the misery after all these years placed upon him by a creep in religious draping named Dennis Gray.
We see the hurt Tony can't stop experiencing, along with his wife Wendy, his children, parents and friends. Tony expresses his anguish often, punctuated with lots of swearing. His loved ones understand and they support him while wishing he could reach resolution so that they won't have to keep hearing about it.
What would resolution entail? An admission of guilt from Dennis Gray and an admission from the Catholic Church that they lied to Comes when he asked if there were any other victims of Gray.
I saw Twist of Faith yesterday. Right now, I would like to drive to Toledo and make Dennis Gray's life miserable in some non-violent, but extremely bothersome way. Right now, I think about all the cover-ups by the Catholic Church and I wonder how people can remain with an organization twisted enough to put the protection of its priests over the safety of children.
Congratulations to Tony Comes and the other victims who dare to show their faces. Thanks to Kirby Dick for presenting the story. God bless Wendy Comes and all the other family and friends that stick with the traumatized loved ones. The human spirit is strong, stronger even than monsters like Dennis Gray. What a shame that it keeps getting tested like this.