BY THE GRACE OF GOD (Grâce à Dieu)
Director: Witten and directed by Francois Ozon
Cast: Melvil Poupaud, Denis Ménochet, Swann Arlaud, Éric Caravaca, François Marthouret.
This powerful true drama on the exposure of the most shocking sex abuse scandal in the French Catholic church is a departure for writer-director François Ozon, best known for his freewheeling wit and virtuosity in films like 8 Women and The Swimming Pool. Here, Ozon uses a masterfully understated, sensitive style to tell the story of three men who came together to confront the Archdiocese of Lyon and Father Bernard Preynat, a Catholic priest and boy scout leader who had abused them and dozens of other children. With a focus on what happens to victims once they speak their truth, it takes on France’s response to claims of abuse in the era of #MeToo.
“Witness to every imaginable gradation of grief, relief, fury, and support…Ozon’s film isn’t about people losing faith in God, but finding faith in each other.” – Ty Burr, Boston Globe. Silver Bear Award for Best Picture at the Berlin Film Festival