Run time: 138 mins
French filmmaker Francois Ozon shifts gears yet again in this emphatic drama surrounding the scandal of more child abuse in the Catholic Church.
Married with five children, Alexandre (Poupaud) is outraged to find the priest who had abused him as a child is still celebrating mass and teaching catechism to boys. Frustrated by the Church’s stonewalling, Alexandre decides to go to the police but finds there is no legal imperative due to the Statute of Limitations. When fellow victims Francois (Menochet) and Emmanuel (Arlaud) hear about the case, they join the cause and a pressure group is formed. As publicity begins to snowball around them, more and more grown up victims begin to come forward.
Taking an almost documentary approach with earthy characters and situations, the film barely pauses to catch breath. Ozon lays bare the hypocrisy at the heart of the established Church, its failure to deal with the serious problem of abuse in its ranks and its refusal to evolve.
Emotionally wrenching in all the right ways, it is a timely, urgent and powerfully moving drama which, like its central characters, seeks to lift the burden of silence. (Research Chris Coetsee)