For fans of true crime and documentaries, The Keepers TV series on Netflix is mandatory viewing. Those, such as the netTVwatch team, that tend toward fictional crime dramas and thrillers, will also find The Keepers to be rewarding viewing. It’s a powerful, riveting story, slowly unfolding into the abuse of power and trust on an epic scale. At the end, you’ll be disturbed, sad, and angry.
The central story of The Keepers is the death of sister Cathy Cesnick, a nun and teacher murdered in 1969. The case was never solved. For many years a pair of Cathy’s students, Gemma and Abbie, have been doggedly pursuing leads and clues – with more apparent success than the police – in an effort to identify the killer.
The filmmakers use Gemma and Abbie as a touchstone throughout the series, returning to them after each foray into the maze of agencies, institutions, and individuals connected to the case. At times, the story goes so far afield – for good reason – that the original crime is all but forgotten.
It’s no secret that the story delves into abuse by priests in the Catholic church. As is often the case, the cover-up is (almost?) worse than the crime. If the archdiocese had responded early on, many fewer people would have suffered. Even if you have followed other stories with similar content, don’t pass this one by.
The Keepers was directed by Ryan White for Film 45 and Tripod Media. White wisely lets the story tell itself, though it is carefully edited and assembled. As in many fictional shows, each episode ends on a point of suspense, enticing you to begin the next. You may find yourself binge watching. The seven episodes, each about an hour, were released on Netflix, May 19, 2017.
As a side note, every woman that appears in The Keepers deserves a medal for courage and bravery.