By the Grace of God: Francois Ozon’s Prize-Winning Film about Sexual Abuse in Catholic Church

The Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Berlin Film Fest went to François Ozon’s French drama, By the Grace of God.

A politically charged film, Ozon’s fact-based account deals with the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal behind the ongoing trial of Philippe Barbarin, the archbishop of Lyon.

The film stars Melvil Poupaud, Denis Ménochet and Swann Arlaud as three survivors of a Catholic priest’s abuse who, as adults, set out to expose the sexual abuse hidden by the Catholic Church.

Alexandre, François and Emmanuel were victimized as children by the venerable Father Bernard Preynat.

As adults, when they discover that their former tormentor has been reassigned and has apparently been shielded all along by an institution committed to silence, the men, still scarred and facing challenges to their faith, begin a movement to bring the Church to account.

Melvil Poupaud: Alexandre Guérin
Denis Ménochet: François Debord
Swann Arlaud: Emmanuel Thomassin
Éric Caravaca: Gilles Perret
François Marthouret: Cardinal Barbarin
Bernard Verley: Bernard Preynat
Josiane Balasko: Irène Thomassin
Martine Erhel: Régine Maire
Hélène Vincent: Odile Debord
Frédéric Pierrot: Captain Courteau
Aurélia Petit: Marie Guérin