Alexandre, a man in his 40s living in Lyon with his wife and children, discovers that the priest who abused him decades ago continues to work with children. He joins forces with others victims of the priest, to bring justice and “lift the burden of silence” about what they endured.
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Perhaps most successful when highlighting the all-encompassing fallout of trauma, how the events become an eclipsing cause. It moves with great momentum and purpose but could of slowed down to allow its characters to breathe; for that reason Emmanuel's section has the most mystery and power. It is effective that the three leads have their own story told with a different language.
Cinema. After all, the "cinéma de papa", despite its pompous gravity in dialogues and actors, has seen better times than now. Theatricality and the studio, the form concept, was replaced by a television naturalism that lies in a narrow and anodyne readability of a subject, like a journalistic report on a controversial subject. Raul Ruiz's little boy grew up and became a monotonous actor.
Not as shattering or powerful as it could be, largely because it's far too long and doesn't explore the personality of characters. This is a big problem in a film that looks at child sexual abuse within the Church as it reduces them to simply victims, rather than people. The flashbacks feel like sensationalism. Church's response is infuriating. Menochet (so different in Custody) and Arlaud do great empathetic work.
At last, an Ozon not satisfied to be just a likeable confectionery. An intelligently structured journalistic take on a public issue — an ongoing case of church paedophilia — which ocasionally even reaches beyond its strict topicality. Ozon's trademark light touch is deftly used to counterpoint what would have otherwise been too depressing to sit through, and to make the case for open public debate.
Ozon provides a moving and infuriating insight into the efforts to deal with the effects of clerical child abuse through a multiplicity of characters and outcomes. This film shows solidarity, bureaucracy and corrupt institutions in a lucid and aesthetic way.
Ozon plays this one straight and conservative with no frills or fuss. He just lets the three principal's story of silenced abuse, quiet rage and the campaign for justice unfold at its own pace and speak for itself. Faultless and somehow transcendent