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Parents' Guide to

The Catholic School

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Violent, misogynist, true-life Italian murder-rape tale.

Movie NR 2022 106 minutes
The Catholic School Movie

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

Do your own judgement about the movie

I feel that a movie like this the appropriate age group should be 18 years of age. I like the movie cause it's something I can understand but I feel kids wouldn't understand it. If it was created also in English language the English subtitles do not work at all. If it wasn't for the rape scenes and what these kids do after school then I would say 17 and up but it's something that we are trying to move from in the new world. Right? Other than that it's a good movie but that's my opinion but I feel the kids wouldn't enjoy it to be honest.. specially the English language kids cause the subtitles do not work. Even when it's turned on.. so I feel it's better to have both versions English an other languages.. great movie if you enjoy erotic scenes in it between teen kids .. I'm not trying to be critical about this movie but I feel it's will give the wrong info to younger viewers that it's OK to be violate towards females from slapping them and rape and lock them up in the trunk of a car and a police officer doesn't help just walk away... like I said the scenes are nicely done.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

It's difficult to see why The Catholic School needed to be made. It doesn't sit right that a story based on a heinous real-life crime implies that hideous acts of violence committed by teenage boys are attributable to the education they received at an elite parochial school. The movie is based on a prize-winning novelized version of the events written by Edoardo Albinati, who went to the title school, which he lists as a co-conspirator to the criminals along with families, fascism, and, mostly, the "requirements" of masculinity. Each of these boxes are dutifully ticked off in the movie, but no real connections are made between them and the barbarous acts that ensue. An unsafe, treacherous, violent society is inevitable, according to this view, a premise the movie scarcely questions (one or two gentle boys serve as exemplars of niceness).

Apart from its confusing structure and the lack of a main character, the movie's worst crime is that it seems designed to let the boys off the hook. A religious institution is to blame. Hypocrite parents are to blame. Priests who solicit sex workers are to blame. A corrupt society with fascist tendencies is to blame. A narrator explains that he can't be himself; he always has to say he agrees with the dominant and crude others to be accepted by the crowd. If he doesn't, he exposes his weakness, and that will make him a victim instead of an accepted member in good standing. But this is the framework of adolescence everywhere, and it doesn't automatically come with built-in rape and murder. It takes courage to say no and refuse to go along, a point that is never made here. Instead, straight from the book, it quotes, "Being born a boy is an incurable disease." For the most part, this just feels like an excuse for lingering voyeuristic views of naked girls with bruised breasts and faces. Women here are all ineffective in their lives, "evil" temptresses who deserve contempt, subservient and unhappy wives seeking sex with younger men or enduring the flings of a homosexual husband. It's a grim life shown here: You're either a bullying, poisonous male or a surrendered victimized woman.

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