Procession — which begins streaming on Netflix today — is, in its own painfully intimate and singular way, a superhero story, assembling its team of avengers and letting them take on enemies both individual and institutional. The way this band of brothers has each others’ backs as they plunge into personal nightmares (and, in one case, a literal nightmare), is inspiring. It’s not a coincidence that the opening credits list it as “a film by” all six of these men. But this is also a portrait of ordinary human beings wrestling with demons, armed with nothing more than righteousness, courageness and a dogged need to be heard when so many refused to listen.
It may have taken a man with a movie camera to let them venture into the past and, in the words of one of their collaborators, “to stand up for the little boy who couldn’t.” Yet these guys are the ones who step willingly into the worst moments of their lives, jumping into an abyss with the faith that there may be something healing on the other side. Name something that’s more heroic than that.
As for the films they make in order to confront what happened to them, they range from the baroque (a baptism sequence in which a clergyman’s eyes glow green — a detail related to one survivor’s memories of his rapist) to the corrective (Foreman replays a meeting that shut down his judicial case and now allows himself to rage accordingly). Others dive back into specific, detailed incidents of trauma that aren’t explicit, but are near unwatchable.
Three of them (Michael Sandridge, Tom Viviano, Mike Foreman) agreed to hear the filmmaker out. Randles suggested three more survivors (Joe Eldred, Ed Gavagan, Dan Laurine) who she thought might benefit from what Greene had in mind. The notion was that these men would, with the help of a trained drama therapist, revisit and reenact some of the traumatic moments around their abuse.