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  • A man in a suit holds out his hand to accept Sacramental bread from a priest.
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BY THE GRACE OF GOD

1:00   3:45   6:45   9:25

MUST END THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31

Directed by François Ozon

Based on real events, François Ozon’s BY THE GRACE OF GOD is a gripping and urgent story of the survivors who band together to expose and dismantle the French Catholic Church’s code of silence surrounding pastoral abuse. The film tells the story of three adult men—Alexandre (Melvil Poupaud, A SUMMER’S TALE), François (Denis Ménochet, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS), and Emmanuel (Swann Arlaud)— joining forces to expose the priest who abused them as boys and the system that enabled him. Their experiences powerfully illustrate the varying effects that the trauma of abuse causes on individuals and their families for years. The true story upon which the film is based is an ongoing scandal in France, with Philippe Barbarin, Cardinal of Lyon, convicted in March 2019 for concealing the conduct of Father Preynat.

FRANCE    2019    137 MINS.      IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES    MUSIC BOX FILMS

Reviews

“Critic’s Pick. Francois Ozon (is) one of France’s most brazen and talented directors… Ozon exerts his command of cinematic language throughout… (crafting) a film that is engrossing from the start, while building to something greater and more emotionally encompassing. The director’s resourcefulness is on particular display in the scenes with Emmanuel. BY THE GRACE OF GOD is a rarity: An important film that’s also utterly inspired.”
– Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

“François Ozon might be known for his kinky thrillers, but his journalistic SPOTLIGHT riff nails the Catholic Church to the cross.  A sturdy portrait of everyday heroism - a sober but compelling drama. A thoughtful, fast-paced, and immaculately acted procedural that unfolds with the urgency of a newspaper deadline. (A) damning and deeply watchable film.”
– David Ehrlich, Indiewire
 
“An ambitious, urgently topical story. There’s of-the-moment cinema and then there’s on-the-moment cinema, ripped so freshly from the headlines that the filmmaking still bears a few ink smudges. An engrossing, whole-hearted dramatization. This is muscular, moving material, rich with rhetorical possibilities and political fault lines… (with) fascinating spiritual conflicts on display.”
– Guy Lodge, Variety