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Andrew

By the Grace of God

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I never would've expected a serious film from Francois Ozon about pedophilia in the French Catholic Church, but whaddya know?  And Ozon bends over backwards to make it clear he's not attacking the Church, but is attempting to thoughtfully criticize its (ongoing) misconduct.  I go into full detail into my longer-than-usual review, which I won't repeat here.  But it's not a stretch to state this is France's Spotlight, arguably more relevant in showing that the same criminal violence and neglect are continuing under Pope Francis' watch.  I'll end by strongly urging Ecumenical Jury voters to make every effort to see this before year's end.  

My review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2019/11/by-the-grace-of-god-under-pope-francis-unpunished-pedophilia-is-still-business-as-usual/


To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

http://secularcinephile.blogspot.com

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Don't we see a poster for Spotlight on the wall in one scene? Or am I thinking of another film I saw recently?

I hate to say that this was one of those films that began to burn me out on the festival-going experience this year. It's *very* talky, which means my eyes were constantly bouncing around the bottom of the screen, reading the subtitles, instead of taking in the visuals. And the film is not only long-ish (about 2.5 hours, right?), but it's structurally challenging too, inasmuch as there's one main character for the first hour or so and then suddenly the movie revolves around a completely different character and then another character. (I found myself thinking about some of the Frederick Forsyth novels I used to read as a kid, of all things.)

Anyway, yes, I do agree that the film is thoughtful and that it goes out of its way to include the perspectives of those who remain *within* the Catholic church even as they criticize its handling of this issue. And maybe it would play for me better outside of a festival binge-watch.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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On 11/10/2019 at 1:43 PM, Andrew said:

I never would've expected a serious film from Francois Ozon about pedophilia in the French Catholic Church, but whaddya know?  And Ozon bends over backwards to make it clear he's not attacking the Church, but is attempting to thoughtfully criticize its (ongoing) misconduct.  I go into full detail into my longer-than-usual review, which I won't repeat here.  But it's not a stretch to state this is France's Spotlight, arguably more relevant in showing that the same criminal violence and neglect are continuing under Pope Francis' watch.  I'll end by strongly urging Ecumenical Jury voters to make every effort to see this before year's end.  

 

A strong second from me. Haven't read Andrew's review yet, but I found the film more interested in the victims and how the experience affects them personally, politically, and spiritually than it is in folding Francis into the indictment. (Wasn't there a scene in which they say they ask Vatican to extend the statute of limitations and where they say the Vatican says that the actions of the diocese are not (yet) enough?
 

 

On 11/18/2019 at 12:35 AM, Peter T Chattaway said:

I hate to say that this was one of those films that began to burn me out on the festival-going experience this year. It's *very* talky, which means my eyes were constantly bouncing around the bottom of the screen, reading the subtitles, instead of taking in the visuals. And the film is not only long-ish (about 2.5 hours, right?), but it's structurally challenging too, inasmuch as there's one main character for the first hour or so and then suddenly the movie revolves around a completely different character and then another character. (I found myself thinking about some of the Frederick Forsyth novels I used to read as a kid, of all things.)

Anyway, yes, I do agree that the film is thoughtful and that it goes out of its way to include the perspectives of those who remain *within* the Catholic church even as they criticize its handling of this issue. And maybe it would play for me better outside of a festival binge-watch.

I did not see it in a festival setting (and am kind of glad for that now), but most of the things Peter mentions are things I liked about the film. Interesting that you said Frederick Forsyth...the first analogy that came to me was Randy Shilts (And the Band Played On). 

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1 hour ago, kenmorefield said:

A strong second from me. Haven't read Andrew's review yet, but I found the film more interested in the victims and how the experience affects them personally, politically, and spiritually than it is in folding Francis into the indictment. (Wasn't there a scene in which they say they ask Vatican to extend the statute of limitations and where they say the Vatican says that the actions of the diocese are not (yet) enough?

I don't have an answer to your parenthetical query, and I agree with your statement on the emphasis of the film.  My comment about Pope Francis stems more from the continued stream of stories about clerical pedophilia and the RCC leadership's anemic response and cover-ups.  Cardinal Barbarin's misconduct is a prime example, as is Francis' choice not to accept his resignation.  


To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

http://secularcinephile.blogspot.com

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