Based on a true story, “The Catholic School” takes us back to the 1970s when one of the most monstrous incidents in Rome took place: the Circeo Massacre. With a remarkable cast, this movie is a must-watch for those of us who love exciting thrillers.
Growing up in a middle-class family, Angelo Izzo, Andrea Ghira and Gianni Guido are three “daddy’s boys” whose weekly confessions at mass do not make them exempt from committing the worst sin possible. As students from an all-male Catholic school, their sexuality is an ambiguous and complicated concept that pushes them to satisfy their lust at demented levels.
The three perpetrators also have difficult lives at home and at their school, where their only options are to subdue or be subdued.
As the narrator clearly states, life in their community is never the same after the events of the Circeo Massacre.
The boys are introduced to their future victims Donatella and Rosaria through a mutual friend, later deciding to take them out to dinner and a movie. Feeling attraction towards the two beautiful Italian girls, the boys lure them to Andrea’s villa, where the horrendous events take place.
Following a long night of drinking, Donatella and Rosalia attempt to go home to avoid worrying their parents. Gianni and Angelo then threaten the girls at gunpoint, locking them in the bathroom. Vulnerable and fearing for their lives, Donatella and Rosalia have no option but to obey.
Without further hesitation and even before Andrea arrives at the villa, Gianni and Angelo proceed to rape and torture Donatella and Rosalia. They eventually tell the girls that Andrea was the one who gave out the orders for them to do so. After days of being continuously raped, kicked and starved, only one of the victims ends up surviving.
“The Catholic School” shows how life was before rape was seen as an actual crime against the victim; it was instead considered a crime against public morality. The Circeo Massacre brought about changes to Italian laws in 1996, when rape began to be punished with prison sentences. While Angelo, Andrea and Gianni were subjected to life in prison, due to good conduct, they were released before completing their sentences.
As wicked as it sounds, they did not stop committing crimes against women even after their release, and were responsible for the death of another woman six years later. Evidence from the case proves that the perpetrators suffered from psychiatric disorders that were perhaps at the root of their evil acts.
“The Catholic School” is only 105 minutes long and takes its audience on a rollercoaster of emotions that emerge from witnessing how wickedness operates in the minds of those one would least expect.
All in all, no amount of confession will make the repercussions of the Circeo Massacre vanish from history.