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French film about catholic pedofilskandal threatens to be stopped

Halfway into the Guldbjörnsjakten seems Ozons new film as one of the strongest entries. ”Grâce à dieu” is a gripping, multi-faceted and durkdrivet fictional documentary that revolves around a handful of men who in their youth were exposed to sexual abuse by a priest in the catholic church.

the Priest Bernard Peyrat as pointed out in the movie is accused of having committed sexual abuse against more than 80 boys. Now Bernard Peyrat gone to the French court to get the film stopped, until the trial against him is completed later in the year. The French director François Ozon seems to be taking the threat with the ro.

" My film is about the human aspect and does not focus on the legal process. Moreover, all the stuff that the movie depicts has already been reported in the French press. And I think there would be an outcry in France if they would manage to stop the movie, " says François Ozon, who competes on the Guldbjörnen for the fifth time.

– When one breaks the omerta, so there will always be resistance. I don't think this is any coincidence, because it is a movie about tystnadskultur and try to break it.

French director Francois Ozon at the Berlin film festival. Photo: Snapshot/Florian Boillot/Future Image/

While the movie has its world premiere in Berlin a trial against the cardinal archbishop Philippe Barbarin and five other senior leaders of the catholic church in Lyon. They are accused of having swept the scandal under the carpet. According to the data, had the Cardinal confronted the Bernard Peyrat if the ”rumors” already in 2010 but failed to contact the police. In the film's closing credits is even a sign that announces that the judgment against Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon will on 7 march.

when the previous pojkscouten François Devaux openly accused the priest of having förgripit on him 25 years earlier. His testimony led to over 80 other men lifted on tystnadstäcket and gathered in the association La parole libérée started by Deveaux.

Ozons interest to make the film was sparked when he by chance happened to surf onto their website, which collects testimonies and stories.

"I was deeply taken by all these true stories, including Deveaux, who struggled for years to obtain the status of victims recognised in the Lyon," says Ozone which, for years, worked on the project in secret.

The French director saw before him a fictional documentary in the same spirit as the academy award-winner ”Spotlight,” which depicted how the Boston Globes grävargrupp managed to uncover a pedofilskandal of the catholic church. During the preproduction for ”Grâce à dieu” was working the French film director close to the members of the group La parole libérée”. In addition to the testimonies based the film on the established facts from the procedural documents, press clippings, documentaries and a book about the whole scandal.

have tried to be as objective as possible and don't think that the ”Grâce à dieu” is to be seen as some attack on the catholic church itself.

" This is no action movie with heroes and villains, there is so much more complex than that – both for the victims and their families, and themselves the catholic institution. And I have tried to depict this as best I can. Not least, the boomerang effect that affects the victims 'next," says Ozone.

Ozone told me that he has received positive reactions from several French bishops and one of Lyon's oldest priests recently thanked Deveaux in order to have ”rocked the church”.

" I think there is a willingness to change. Many ordinary catholics are sick and tired of their religion to be associated with pedophilia, and you want the top leaders to deal with the problem once and for all, mean Ozone, and adds:

" I don't know if the film can change the world, but it can start a debate.

a new side of the Ozone, which in the past has mainly been profiled as a tactful kvinnoskildrare. His previous films usually have circled the female characters, such as Charlotte Ramplings widow living in denial in ”Under the sand”, Catherine Deneuves neglected trophy wife in ”Potiche” or the kitsch pusseldeckarmusikalen ”8 women” which was a stjärnparad with France's greatest actresses.
– Now, I wanted to make a movie with men in the centre, a film that expresses their feelings. Within the film usually emotionerna be in the woman's sphere, while men are usually associated with the action. I wanted to turn things around.

Read more: Krigsdramat ”Frantz” is François Ozons best film in a long time

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