Procession Trailer: Netflix's Doc Uses Drama Therapy To Heal Survivors Of Catholic Sexual Abuse

Documentarian Robert Greene is known for his unusual approach to non-fiction filmmaking, with films like "Bisbee '17," "Actress," and the breathtaking "Kate Plays Christine." But his latest film "Procession" utilizes a unique form of drama therapy to assist six incredibly brave men who have opted to tell their story and relive the hardest moment of their lives as a means to heal.

From the official Netflix synopsis:

Six midwestern men — all survivors of childhood sexual assault at the hands of Catholic priests and clergy — come together to direct a drama therapy-inspired experiment designed to collectively work through their trauma. As part of a radically collaborative filmmaking process, they create fictional scenes based on memories, dreams and experiences, meant to explore the church rituals, culture and hierarchies that enabled silence around their abuse. In the face of a failed legal system, we watch these men reclaim the spaces that allowed their assault, revealing the possibility for catharsis and redemption through a newfound fraternity.

Talking about surviving childhood sexual assault is incredibly difficult, and despite the progress in recent years due to social justice movements, spaces for men in particular to discuss their trauma are still hard to come by. Hopefully this documentary will be able to help others who have endured similar treatment find solace on their own journeys through recovery.

The Procession Trailer

While Robert Greene is officially listed as the director, the six men featured (Joe Eldred, Mike Foreman, Ed Gavagan, Dan Laurine, Michael Sandridge, and Tom Viviano) are all credited as consultants and collaborators. Some of the team behind "Procession" spoke to IndieWire about the film with cinematographer Robert Kolodny stating, "The participants are empowered in front of the camera to believe, and rightfully so, that they are steering the ship. In many ways, [to understand] that they have authorship." Kolodny also shares a "film by" credit with Greene, highlighting the communal creation of this project. He continued, "It lends it this exciting feeling on and off set. It really feels like they are as active of collaborators as the producers, as the camera people, as the sound person, we're all in this together."

Drama therapy is still wildly misunderstood by the public at large, but for some people who have survived extreme traumatic events, it can be one of the most powerful forms of healing. Reliving trauma can be very triggering for many, but for others, it can provide genuine catharsis. Greene's filmography has a deep emphasis on transparency, so it's safe to assume that "Procession" will be willing to show the difficulties in recovery and therapy, as well as the empowering moments of breakthrough.

"Procession" will be available in select theaters in November and will be available for streaming on November 19, 2021.