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TV Review: “The Keepers” on Netflix ★★★★★


Do you know what a kind and an open-hearted human being deserves less of? To be found lifeless near a garbage dump, murdered by someone whose identity won’t be found out even forty years later. Sister Catherine “Cathy” Cesnik, one day, the day that will define her fate, leaves the apartment to make her way to the closest mall to buy an engagement gift for her younger sister. That day was November 7th of 1969, a day that will be marked as the day of the disappearance of Cathy just to be found out two months later… Ryan White’s haunting and shocking docuseries gives an insight into what happened that day, while one can hope that those dark streets, walls or even the time could talk…

The Keepers follows the unsolved cold case “The Murder of Catherine Cesnik” and her former pupils from Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore, Gemma Hoskins and Abbie Schaub who continue their, almost fifty years old case together, to find justice for Cathy. The documentary reveals that Cesnik was extremely loved and respected in the school where she taught English and Drama. The trust she earned reached to a level where students, a few of them, approached her and were able to share their darkest secret that they were molested by two priests including Father Joseph Maskell.

It also was revealed that the sexual abuses of the priests spread like virus to many other victims, who were raped, abused, harassed and, in addition, trafficked them to the local police. Through the interviews and investigations conducted by Cesnik’s former students, it appears that there was a chain of sexual crime committed by the priests, especially by Maskell, but was covered up by the police. By the time when Cathy Cesnik, the nun, knew that she will report the incident, she disappears soon after, and her decomposed body was discovered in January.

Since then, no proper investigation was done, and based on the facts provided, no wonder why…  But what is more fascinating about this is the unsettling truth which is hard to deal with, that there is no such thing as justice existing whatsoever. But the hope arises with Ryan White’s The Keepers that there might be one investigator still living who can go to Maryland and open the case, go against the Church and bring them to justice. As this may or may not happen, The Keepers seemingly does a better job than all those investigators that worked on Cathy’s murder case for nearly fifty years.

I should confess, it was a long journey as I watched all seven episodes. It was tough and unimaginably difficult to process everything I heard or even saw. The anger, unfairness and desire to get up and go to Baltimore are the first things which will come to your mind. Also, the credit must go to Netflix’s projects that knows what kind of audience to aim. And it does it right. It was able to reach me, and will do the same with you as well. White’s documentary is probably one of the most subtle, eye opening, harsh and a gruesome reality of the past, it seems can’t even find peace with it.

In conclusion, why do we need to watch a documentary movie about cold cases with no logical conclusion? It is because they need to be used as a reminder that we do not owe to those who alive, but more to those who are no longer alive, like Cathy Cesnik? Yes, killing is a like a last stage of uncured cancer that metastasizes further and further with no hope that one day it will improve and eventually go away. But one thing, after watching the powerful and mind-blowing The Keepers you will hope that, maybe with all these advanced technologies used nowadays, the mystery around Cathy Cesnik’s murder will be solved. Let’s just all hope that we will still be around to celebrate that.…

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About Ulkar Alakbarova (1029 Articles)
My name is Ulkar Alakbarova. A wonderful name, is it not? I come from the exotic land of Azerbaijan but now I live in the hub of Hollywood North – Toronto, Canada. How lucky I am to be able to enjoy and indulge in my favourite avocation of watching movies. Movies of every genre are screened here in Toronto. There are black and white classics, avant garde, independently produced, and of course, newly released movies for all to enjoy. Let me share this treasure of entertainment with you. Read my thoughts and opinions then let me know if you agree.

3 Comments on TV Review: “The Keepers” on Netflix ★★★★★

  1. I am a documentary junkie. I admit it… however, I had no idea how much this docuseries would truly impact me. I want to take a stand and research…help in any way I can… I want to become a freelance cold case crime researcher!

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