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Tubegazing: secret files of the Inquisition

This four-part docudrama was made possible in 1998 when the Vatican opened its secret records of some six centuries of interrogations, tortures, and punishments throughout Europe including Italy, France, and Spain.

(PBS, May 9 and 16, 9-11 p.m.): For most people, "The Inquisition" evokes images of 15th-century Spain. But the Vatican's Office of the Inquisition, founded in 1233, operated until 1908 when it took on its current name, The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This four-part docudrama was made possible in 1998 when the Vatican opened its secret records of some six centuries of interrogations, tortures, and punishments throughout Europe, including in Italy, France, and Spain. Victims describe in their own words the gruesome toll of the Inquisition. This award-winning look at the cultural devastation created by religious orthodoxy run amok couldn't be more timely. Grade: A