Francois Ozon's gripping drama follows three men who band together to dismantle the code of silence that continues to protect a priest who abused them decades ago. Based on events from the 2019 conviction of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon for concealing the conduct of Father Bernard Preynat, BY THE GRACE OF GOD compassionately illustrates the varying effects of trauma on survivors and their families in this urgent portrait of resistance, the power of mobilization, and the mysteries of faith.Written by
Music Box Films
The title of this movie is the translation of the French phrase "Grâce à Dieu", which is commonly used like "Thank God" is in English. It is a direct quote of an unfortunate phrase by ex-Archbishop Cardinal Barbarin in an interview: "Grâce à Dieu ces faits sont prescrits" ("Thank God these events are subject to the statute of limitation"), which was widely understood as expressing his relief that the perpetrator could no longer be prosecuted. See more »
A film that very likely will leave you angry....and that's a good thing.
I saw "By the Grace of God" at the Philadelphia Film Festival and although I'd never consider it an enjoyable film, it's a necessary film...one you really should see. While there have been other films about pedophile priests, and why not since the problem seems so universal, this one is not a documentary but instead makes a few tweaks for cinematic sake...though the facts are essentially true.
In addition to being an important film, director Ozon also crafted it well and managed to get excellent and realistic performances from the cast. In other words, the victims seemed real...not like actors. Overall, an amazingly well made film...one of the better ones I've seen in recent years.
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