By the Grace of God ★★★★½

Victims during their childhood of a pederast priest covered by the diocese of Lyon, three men return to the wounded memories of a painful past in search of the strength needed to share their stories, free themselves from the weight that keeps them at a standstill, and unite in protest to demand accountability for the damage caused to them. In Grâce à Dieu, possibly his most conventional film, François Ozon takes the time to build the case and structure it into three parts, each led by the excellent work of Poupaud, Menochet, and Arlaud, while interspersing an epistolary narrative that provides much information and allows us to delve inside the mind of the protagonists. At the same time, the film addresses with respect and sensitivity the pain of these men, the different ways they confront it, their convulsive emotions, the way it affects those around them, and the lasting personal and social consequences. The french filmmaker offers a series of reflections and questions about faith, religion and justice, offering different points of view. With this denouncing film, sober and elegant but still crude, realistic and above all empathetic, Ozon once again shows his versatility with an approach that at times comes close to documentary. A detailed, contained, and very humane work that leaves the viewer with mixed feelings between affliction and indignation, as well as respect for these people who have found in the depth of their sorrow a new affirmation of life.

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