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REVIEW: In Bob We Trust

Thursday, 1 May, 2014

In Bob We Trust follows Father Bob Maguire’s struggle against the Catholic Church as they seek to force his retirement at the tender age of 75.

I always thought of Bob as that surly old man who co-hosts Sunday Night Safran on Triple J, a bit of a larrikin who sought publicity by being controversial. After watching In Bob We Trust it’s evident that he’s a much more complex and endearing character than that.

Bob, a Catholic priest based in South Melbourne, takes a more humanist approach to the scripture than the Church would like.Unsurprisingly, this is the very reason they want him gone.

The film opens with Bob giving a humorous summary of the Bible, accompanied by some religious iconography and the best lute music going around. If you don’t love Bob after watching this scene, you’re either a fun sponge or George Pell.

After this, the film takes a more serious turn as we are given an insight into how manipulative the Catholic Church has become. Bob consults his friends and raises an army of supporters to hold his ground for as long as possible. Along the way there’s deceit, death, and many shots of Bob attending to his Twitter.

Intercut between all this is a conversation between John Safran and Father Bob, which gives us access to Bob’s most internal thoughts and also the ultimate message of the film: heaven may already be around us.

After watching In Bob We Trust I fell in love with Father Bob, and even though I’m not religious I began to mourn his presence as a religious pillar of the Melbourne community. In contrast to what the Catholic Church believes, Father Bob was one of the only good things they had going for them. A strong film, highly recommended.

In Bob We Trust is now available on DVD.