By The Grace of God

French Film Festival

When Alexandre (Melvil Poupaud) learns that the priest who assaulted him decades ago at a scouts’ camp still works with young people, he tells his family what happened and seeks out other victims so that the Church will take action. Even as others are persuaded to speak out, however, the Catholic establishment starts dragging its feet.

Meticulously chronicling events with a linear narrative that boldly switches protagonists in order to explore different aspects of French society, experience and attitude, Ozon creates a powerful, quietly polemical drama that reveals both the enduring consequences of child abuse and the complacent complicity of the Church. Terrific performances – particularly from Poupaud, Ménochet and, as the ageing offender, Bernard Verley – and nuanced direction won it the Berlinale’s Grand Jury Prize.

“Thoughtful, fast-paced, and immaculately acted” – Indiewire

BBFC rating
Running time
137 mins
Other features
François Ozon
Melvil Poupaud, Denis Ménochet, Swann Arlaud

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November 18th

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