An allegory for the manner in which the Catholic Church deals with priests who have committed sexual abuses, The Club is not for the fainthearted. In a nondescript house in a sleepy beach town live four priests and a nun, Sister Monica, all of whom have committed horrible transgressions, such as pedophilia and selling babies, that would have landed them in prison were they not religious figures protected by the Church. The locals seem unaware of the real identity of the household members until the arrival of a fifth priest. A disturbed fisherman immediately recognizes this new priest as the man who abused him when he was a child and, standing outside the house, begins screaming the graphic details of what happened. The other priests urge the new arrival to go outside and deal with it, which he does by shooting himself to death.
This incident brings the arrival of another priest, Father García, a Jesuit, who has been sent to straighten out the situation with the possibility of closing the home. “You’re one of those new priests,” says Sister Monica warily. In case you’re not up on Church politics, the current Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope and he has presented as one of his goals cleaning up the priestly sexual abuse morass. But as The Club makes clear, this is easier said than done….and the plot turns ugly, bloody and gruesome.
Director Pablo Larraín was nominated three years ago for his considerably more lighthearted political satire No. And that’s his wife, Antonia Zegers, playing Sister Monica.