Twist of Faith is a 2005 American documentary film directed by Kirby Dick. The documentary is a story about a man who, in his thirties, decided to reveal the truth about him being sexually abused by a Catholic priest when he was a teenager. The film was produced for the cable network HBO, and received a nomination for Best Feature Documentary at the annual 77th Academy Awards.
Tony Comes, a firefighter from Toledo, Ohio
, was sexually abused by a Catholic priest in his hometown when he was a fourteen-year-old student at a Catholic School. Feeling ashamed, Comes kept the abuse a secret from everyone but his parents, and later, his wife. Nearly 20 years later, being married and having two children, Comes discovered that the same priest then lived just five houses down the street away from his new house. He decided to speak up the truth and bring a case against Dennis Gray − the priest − and the Church officials − who had responded inappropriately to allegations regarding priestly molestation, holding them accountable for the childhood sexual abuse. The documentary gives an account of how his going public about the story and his lawsuit against the parish left an effect on his family and the community.
Production and release
The film was produced for the cable network HBO
's America Undercover
series. During the filmaking, director's Kirby Dick let Comes' family videotape themselves inside their home in some sensitive moments. These scenes include the confession of marriage problems, which led to dual counseling, and the scene in which Comes told his 8-year-old daughter his story about the abuse from adolescence. Twist of Faith
premiered in the documentary film competition held at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival
. It was released theatrically on July 1
in two theaters, and a DVD version was released on February 21
The film was given positive by critics. Metacritic
gave the documentary a score of 70 out of 100, based on 9 reviews.
According to Hollywood Reporter, Twist of Faith is a "touching yet complicated film" which "let victims of sex abuse realize they are not alone." The film was called by Variety magazine a "powerful and damning look at the long-term impact of sexual abuse". Director's Kirby Dick decision to let Comes' family videotape themselves in some scenes gained praise from reviewers of Variety magazine and The Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe called these moments "one of the most powerful scenes" of the documentary.
The film received a nomination for Best Feature Documentary Award at the annual 77th Academy Awards.
The film grossed 2 million US dollars in its opening weekend and went on to gross a total of 8.1 million US dollars domestically.
Nominations and awards
Twist of Faith
received a nomination for Best Feature Documentary at the 77th Academy Awards