By the Grace of God


Hello and welcome to Monaco on culture rubs off Sunning himself in Mexico so today you've got me Ben Briley running the show for topic up for discussion today thanks for tuning in ability in this film but when we do see it in action it is still quite shocking is an well I found myself feeling sorry for the abuse victims live cover up of sex abuse in the French Catholic Church the film focuses on a group of men all of whose lives have in some way being affected by abuse at the sexy thrillers of the eighties than most anything being made today but there was also France which was a far more sedate and emotional story told him the aftermath of the first world bring to the screen not least because the real life story is very much still in Martian by the grace of God premed at the Berlin Film Festival where it took the victim of child abuse by a priest longer in his childhood decides to be has to come forward and notifies the church about will this happening all about the abuse that's been happening in various factions of the church all around the world so we are somewhat familiar territory and yet there is still something quite gob smacking about many ends of a senior member of the church deftly balancing heavy emotions with the frustrating complexities of the French legal process. It's certainly a challenging case of the scenes that we're watching here in the film given what we know about similar cases we perhaps shouldn't be surprised at the reaction that we do see by the institution bearing responses exception of course must recently just to bring people up to speed zone has dabbled in psycho sexual thriller territory with Lamont Doolan which had more in common with those not only because their abuse victims but also because they religion the church was incredibly important to them and gave them a really safe place to go the events that it narrates have just taken place in the last few years story ready begins in two thousand fourteen when one man in his forties who is the as I say epistolary Parson I mean by now Karen I suppose we are lined up to speed with what this kind of film is going to be telling us right we know and tries to reopen the kind of wombs in a sense of course aware he's not alone in this and there are many other men affected This is the carrots play by Melville pupae and then is the film unfolds ozone quite lengthy running time two hours twenty unites all these men together in a kind of joined attempt to drag the pulse into the light and you re Grand Prix prize and has been well received by critics thought what do our guests think joining me in the studio to discuss it today carrying Christina Vich and will tim the helps you wouldn't mind bringing up to speed with the setting of this one by the grace of God yes so this is a very urgent contemporary film zones be making here the letters coming back to him from the Leon's cardinal and then back-and-forth and the kind of the way that the judge is trying to downplay everything and to sweep it on had a wife and you know a very very stable sort of ideal Christian home I put doesn't scare quotes and so the fact that this safe spot the rotten this was so pervasive that I think it must have destroyed his faith I mean coming from a family that I mean I'm not myself religious but but I have family members who are different testimonies I fade it manages to into we've together it begins in an epistolary way with mellow character Alexandra writing to the church right this particular priest Father Benepe Raina pay for his crimes very meticulously researched this foam I'm one of the great things about it is the amount of I think against the travails of the rest of existence of for example zoned opening character he had a lot of children I mean he had hit a lot of kids and I know how important it is to them so I think this goes almost beyond the abuse level to the point of sheltering these abusers I think is even more shots Tena Brody now there's familiar with the work of Francois is on we'll probably know that few of his films ever really bear any resemblance to what came before it this is not the compet while he presses his case more urgently and then considers moving into the legal realm and that continues with other characters. There's a lot of writing in this film talking Tim I mentioned there that we do know about of a similar cases to this one but I felt the when the film opens even though as you say it's a very long film two hours twenty minutes it felt like it was in quite a hurry to set us up with the characters who are at the center of this particular case this woman has quite a narrow focus do you think that's beneficial to getting across the message that it's not trying to be some some sort of big relevant story that that encompasses all cases of abuse it's very much just about these characters I think that is a real bernas hair it's very methodical procedural kind of film it's paste a bit like a thriller really but it doesn't do that I think the research has been so is up in the church who want the whole thing buried versus the angry abuse victims but we're talking about differences of approach within the movement within the activists mood meant the victims themselves having compete different attitudes to how this should be publicized brought to light etc you know some of them indeed have lost their faith in what kind of heat or hearing too many many different characters who have different points of view and we're not only talking about the characters who adversaries you know the needs to improve and redeem itself they want redemption for the institution they don't want it to be necessarily a punitive matter so all of this manages to communicated is about what they're doing to really kind of town then there are other characters who do king onto their faith and what they feel is that the church needs to make amends because the church precise and as on technique actually is really kind of career toll thing I think it's tremendous head he managed to get all the information in while also giving doing some skyrocketing to above the basilica and Leon to broadcast what's going on and one idea is to skyrocket a huge penis in the sky stuck fairly much to fact with this although he did say that a lot of the physical meetings we're actually actually happened online and also that the nature structure that film had to be like a relay race starts out with one character goes onto the other and the producers were very very nervous about this but in fact it's done very well an incredibly tense urgent quite pacey way thank in in two hours twenty I really feel as though it's been pruned down very cleverly and Yeah the the take the couch played by Donnie Manuchehr is is established as a complete atheist and he's the one who really wants to kind of punish the church it's kind of broad cost the news from the because it will grab everyone's attention more than anything else and then there is a debate within that scene with that's trivializing the issue making it ridiculous etc and whether it be the right kind of at the but the pope refused so that hasn't been kind of fully covered and that character who becomes more and more important as a film goes on gives the film its title and very is that phrase which shocks the press people in the press conference where they hear it because he sounds actively kinda relieved the the fringe legal system protects abuse. That's I think took one million I think when it opened your should address this because the film being so recent in terms of its focus the case the case continues now and the film has then he said You'd have to be very pretentious filmmaker to say that but in this case I think they can and I also think that I didn't realize the complexity replay the ozone's come up with does that work I think it's going to be a compliment when you talk about a two hour plus film and still pay it does feel pacing do we need late scene where he says by the grace of God the statute of limitations on these crimes is a mayor twenty years which means that the older cases can't actually brought just as an actor but in some ways I mean as we said Tim films playing at the same time as the real life legalities happening in the background and their title screens that tell you all about this at the beginning and the end of the film to the skies I mean it it takes in some incredible extremes and I I'm gonNA leave that story to you but it was gob smacking yeah there's one scene where they discussed involved in coming forward and saying this priest did this to me particularly as all the families are responding differently and also the rifts it's almost like brexit in a way did and subsequently after the film we got this kind of broad audience the judges had no choice they've defrock him so in July a tribunal defrocked it's causing rifts within families that you that were sort of underlying you know like Mom's always favored you know it's always about your story let's write one of the cases I really surprised me is there any different than anybody else they too have flaws it's gratifying to them and puts a balm on their wounds and you it's hard to give that up what is Cathartic Father Criminal Justice still awaits him meanwhile cotton in charge of him in Leon who's Cardinal Bara offered his resignation to the Vatican outlooks and walks of life there's a very important sense of their solidarity and coming together and fullness movement is the thing that is actually making it work the thing is making the the been stuck with this for so long and having no one really communicate it to we get to deal with them singly and then they gradually brought together and even though they have very different siblings felt as if they were shunned out of the spotlight and he became the favorite in the family diesels of that he's a he's the victim he's forever the victim's always going to be the victim and case work the thing is ganging finally heard because when they're a bunch of them when it's a kind of cool celebre class action if you like no one can then singly south being very important in the way the case unfolded so film opened in France in February the priests at the center of trying to get at a block to try to get its release obstruct Oh tool but I think there's one moment and I think even though it's one hundred thirty seven minutes packing these little facets in of the story is an incredible skill where one of the characters goes to the bakery and the guy behind the counter was also abused but he's too afraid to come forward and that's why they have to keep this unified front filling in that space in some ways certainly for a lot of people internationally won't know anything about this story whatsoever I mean it does throw up its own set of complexities doesn't it details are actually going to be realistic is there more of a pressure on a film like this to get the conversations right and to get those smaller details correct win perhaps in other cases only be heard on the subjects I think one thing that's very successful about the structure of the foam as you say a relay race where we moved from Alexandra I then Francois Diminish as character the you've got a film like this that is reporting facts in a way but as Karen was alluding to earlier there is the question of of how many of the D. It's a shocking thing all and the audience at this press conference we're really shocked and called him on it and you do see that I think they just wanted of a family and this one of the sons deed in in fact come to terms with it and it had the opposite effect where it came to define too much about his character and that many entry format though there is a sort of a dramatic sort of license that is taken in terms of the style and in that film they were kind of creepy shots down church corridors subjects where it was very very kind of fresh from the headlines The documentary revealed more about it created more headlines in the story just kept running on from that it could I I couldn't believe that scene was happening but it was so ridiculous that he he's probably to to actually is probably worse than than the real thing but I mean I do think that that I think there is an element of narcissism which and it's it's almost like the skyrocketing it's not that these people are pure in any way or that they you know that as well but Karen the function of this film in some ways is usually the domain of journalism isn't it really interesting example of quite literally ripped from the just ignore one person and that is a very key subject here I think is that the sense of that we've got to get together on this we've got to get together and present a united front to be when those you know that he he had he had relaxed or he was so frustrated or or anxious that that just slipped out all by the grace of God we know we're going to be okay was the family who I mean we were talking about the the kids who couldn't quite come to terms with it and and we're sort of hosed down when they brought it up when they were younger but there's another example I don't know the absolute verbatim INS and outs of every element of the case I do think it feels very responsible done thing it feels like a campaigning kind of this is normal because the businesses this kind of thing is damaging the brand you know but I'm really surprised that the pope refused Bob around request to be let go but they also the as of cinema that's based on real life you kind of know that the things that happened behind closed doors can never be exactly as they took place you just know it's going to be attempting to evoke the spirit and the crazy about is the fact that moderation isn't fun to watch anything that's moderate makes sense chose birth sides even handed this is boring I don't want to know this I want to be the various victims these are not just one group much as they have to unite kind of present cases is not just one homogeneous group people they're very separate individuals very or the people who killed themselves for the people aren't coming forward and perhaps for victims that are being victimized now absolutely it's tremendous saying that you mentioned that really couldn't film they wanted to film Barbara Church and of course they couldn't so they had to fill this and Belgium as we know in the film it does make it clear this is a very complex story visually really dull but it almost this kind of moderate levelness allows you to really see you feel like you're getting some reality in it and I think that that's an incredible feat considering it's often a very I don't WanNa say lured but it's a very excitable people get very upset about this and rightfully so about the subject is relentlessly realistic a dramatic moments that you might see again bring up spotlight because it has been compared so headlines Cinema ripped from their lines at Lourdes Lourdes wave putting it was saying that he was asked if films can change the world read which is you know blurring lines and exaggerating I in fact if anything it reveals the complexity of the case and the subtleties and the differences between I mean he's also quite a prolific filmmaker he he generates so much material Karen I mean my feeling is that when you make so many films like this it can allow and finally Emmanuel Playboy one I think is amazing is that we're dealing with them one time and it increases the idea of that `isolation in this trump essentially and having should for it but he does seem to change quite a bit and I think it just says more about him as a person and also that he's going to be more experienced telling different amazing I'm interested in in what we think about this idea of journalism cinema I mentioned that this is usually the domain of journalism in this case we have a film that he's sort of feeling of what actually took place this one has to be a little bit more true to the facts doesn't it is a tricky one the APP because there's clearly been some dramatic license we don't exactly know that's one example but there's also been film this very subject the Catholic Church which is called Maximum Copa by Alex Gibney which dealt with this stuff and it even in a document let's quickly talk about where this fits into Azzam's cannon I suppose it's an interesting cannon all the films inside he's had a quite different to all of the others I think the more common example genetics Moore's documentaries lately thinking of film like citizen for about Edward Snowden Laura processes documentary of and again and hones that in kind of a long lengthy tale to do you think there is a degree of power to be had in a filmmaker lax on being very selective about what project he wants as a little bit like a filmmaking equivalent of Joyce Carol oates in that he will make lots and lots of material but he'll only do it when something is exciting him arts funnily enough to do because as Karen says he's not limited to a particular style or he hasn't carved out his own genre he only chooses projects that that excite him in some way a story on which lamentably was was based there is some semblance of power there isn't it that he's only going to work when absolutely feels like I also think he's very skilled lying the right style to the right subject because they're all common threads among his films he's he's interested in Pastiche he likes melodrama he can be impish Some critics to sort of devalue each individual project to some extent near you want to go to Lee on it I think what it shows about him is that he's he's it's like a career peak the other one that I really Dole which is also quite serious minded but much more intimate is under the sand with Charlotte rampling from two thousand and one excited I wanna be feel that there's heroes and villains here and actually this is a very even film and if you looked at it with with the sound off with the subtitles off that was kind of heavy music and stuff suggest what was going on behind closed doors even a documentary is GonNa kind of push sutton buttons in that way I do think this film even though Wpro problems and exposes rifts and contradictions within which I think is fascinating and very human and yet very successful what it's brought up is this something let's distinguishes by the grace of Gode is his least compete film way in fact what's really impressive wasn't quite prepared for the it gets inside so many different characters heads so well I think that when he was talking to some of the the interviews that he did to write the script they were now wait a minute kinds of stories and he's going to get a different timbre in each of his stories each of his tales didn't WanNa say like Verna Herzog who just goes off a Ron Howard goes off and does absolutely every discover the testimonies of victims of abuse when they were child I was very touched especially by do character Phallic Solo who is then there's no Mark Ruffalo with the character screaming about what the point of the whole film is he just forces you to go down the same journey that the victims might have had to go down as well playful with with shoppers that we think we know already he'll turn them inside out cleverly does a good one in Donna Maison there was another very clever hitchcock in the meetings with the father himself of which there are two main ones in the film we don't exactly know if they would have panned out like that would for words for you would think wow there's nothing really happened they're just people talking Lozada streetwalking in this matter I mean I'll meet streetwalking I mean people walking the streets and you just think cash the we've seen your movies before what kind of movie are you GonNa make you know I think it's a it is a little worrying I I would have been worried but I don't think he'd put any victims together he did give I didn't give the script to victims I decide to work with the actor like it was a fiction and so it was it was a new about a woman whose husband disappears which is real a Mazda causing psychological nuance but ready just focusing inside this one woman's head space this has such a broad remit this fall survey we're waiting for me kind of French spotlight and I realized ball I am going to to make affection for them and actually sweat I'm amused to tell the story from their best picture and because I whispered fight I had the feeling the fact to be close to them would be good for her thing but I think that there is something really trustworthy about that and you feel as if you're in safe hands as opposed to somebody who makes the same kind movie over and over and over swing so so I did it but I want you to be closed most possible to the radicati but at the same time when I would describe that did we live does that carry an extra degree of white responsibility for you it's a big responsibility that's too when you love people you won't need compensate victims were there they were all pretty true to the actual people understand that he was very very true to the spirit of the real life case as I mentioned bench for me because I had never done something like that before and certainly the having the your central protagonists people who were at least based on on very Catholic and a big fight in the Catholic Church in and I just want to meet people so I met them and agree of rigor as a kind of docudrama maker that he gets into this film I wasn't ready for it I think it's it's his most serious minded film ever and one of his most burden the open to different influences he doesn't Wanna stay with any particular genre and I think that filmmakers that do stick the same subjects often get placed at which funnily enough did originally started as a proposed documentary when the lead in this film I mean he's had an interesting career of his iron notably of course working with us on several times but also with Soviet Francois is on there that is part of this season of the big interview you can hear the full episodes soon right here on Monaco twenty four the Francois was on himself is one of the guests of the interview this season I did ask him about some of his thoughts on making by the grace of God and about how the project came about thoroughly knowing a lot about what he's worked on I think you'd recognize his face without necessarily nine his name but you'd also probably be reminded that most of his films excellent he's he deserved awards attention that film Melville I think is tremendous he has a kind of by Roenick intense doc seriousness to him the really comes out in in the mid ninety s way plays a young guy on holiday and a very kind of Eric Rohmer setup who has three different girlfriends that he's kind of playing off one another I know you try to to be to be more nest and to to show how much fast Tong and I wanted to make them like Eros like American euros now it's the time of the show where we move the conversation to some of the things that this film made us think of now tim you wanted to pick up on the career of Melville Pupo who plays so it was quite complex to have zoo y distance to be bold to watch their own story uh-huh excellent and as one could time to leave which he's in way has the leading role as a as a man with AIDS which is one of the best character studies is on his ever made and I I was so touched and I liked him so much that I wanted to make I took Minto here but then Bet v West so disappointed because venue I was a fiction Jerry Angela because I have faith that he's he he he knows what he's doing with scraps Wade Lawrence anyways which was done on film he's one of my least favorites of has but the ozone it's a question of time you know but for me as very bizarre because it was two years ago you don't tell the story which happened in two thousand fourteen big one in in America than there was the Chilean one called the club which is which is from the view of of the priests who have been sort of shunted off to this cabin on as well tell us about your thoughts on his career I mean it's it I think it's fair to say that if you know international cinema you still could be forgiven for not movies like like this I mean there are about at least eight or nine movies about abuse within the Church and in various countries so we've got spotlight which of course was was the is almost sad when the film let's go of him because he doesn't become the kind of prime mover in the in the movement but for the first hour of film he's absolutely dominant in its is one of one of the a place to escape if you've got a boring life and and you hit your job or whatever and then it's lovely to come in and be excited in forget about forget

Coming up next