By the Grace of God
(Grâce à Dieu)

Director in Person
$12 Special Event Tickets
Directed by François Ozon.
With Melvil Poupaud, Denis Ménochet, Swann Arlaud.
France/Belgium, 2019, DCP, color, 137 min.
French with English subtitles.

By the Grace of God (Grâce à Dieu) introduction and post-screening discussion with Haden Guest and François Ozon. ©Harvard Film Archive

Outraged by the still-unresolved sex crimes committed by prominent members of the French Catholic Church, Ozon first considered making a documentary before realizing he was better suited to craft a compelling multithreaded narrative that could do justice, in every sense of the term, to the point of view and life experience of long-suffering victims of sexual abuse. Telling the story of three men looking back, reluctantly but with real purpose, By the Grace of God constructs a riveting study of injustice, community and faith that looks closely at the rippling effects of sexual abuse upon families, loved ones and the victims themselves, who have struggled against the shame and guilt and confusion inflicted upon them during their most vulnerable years. Ozon uses all of his consummate skills to deliver a powerful indictment of rigid and criminally indifferent Church hierarchy while also showing admirable restraint in depicting the crimes committed in ways that ennoble, yet in no way soften, the still heart-wrenching suffering being felt to this day.

A special reception in the upstairs gallery will follow the screening and discussion.

Part of programs

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Four Films by François Ozon

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Cinema of Resistance

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Forgotten Filmmakers of the French New Wave

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The Complete Federico Fellini

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