Expected in cinemas on 20 February, the film by director François Ozon traces with an almost documentary interest the struggle of the victims of Preynat to "free speech" and hand over the case to justice.
After the courtrooms, the dark rooms. The trial of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, just concluded, is the turn of fiction to take over to highlight the case that led to indictment of the Catholic hierarchy. Thank God, the film that François Ozon dedicated to him will be distributed in theaters on February 20th, after being presented at the Berlin Film Festival, where he was selected.
The release date, exactly between the end of the hearings before the Lyon Criminal Court and the sentence, scheduled for 7 March, is purely coincidental, defends the distributor. Well chosen upstream, it responds more to the imperatives of the film circuit than to the judicial calendar.
At the Barbarin trial, "do not repair an injustice from another injustice"
The film reveals nothing that we do not already know
Focusing on the victims of Father Preynat and their struggle to "free speech", François Ozon's film reveals nothing that we already know or was not told during the hearings. The director, who is known to be more sulfurous, traces with an almost documentary concern the facts, since the approach taken by Alexandre Hezez in 2014 near the diocese of Lyon to obtain the revocation of the priest, until the creation with François Devaux of La Parole Libérée association and their decision to take the case to the public square.
Initially, the director was trying to make a film about male frailty when he found this news. Shocked by the testimonies of the victims found on the association's website, he approached them and their entourage to learn more about their personal injuries. Think before you make a game, then a documentary before moving on to fiction. A shape desired by the interested parties themselves "Who had already fantasized a film in the spirit of reflector, become imaginary characters, embodied by known actors ", says François Ozon.
The point of view of the victims
Terrified by the idea of betraying them, the director is held throughout the film as close to reality, to restore in a first part the exchanges of voiceover email between Alexander, played by Melvil Poupaud and officials of the diocese, including Cardinal Barbarin (François Marthouret) and Régine Maire (Catherine Erhel), responsible for the reception of those suffering in the diocese.
Built around three characters, Alexandre, François (Denis Ménochet) and Emmanuel (Swann Arlaud), the film makes us experience the difficulty of the victims of speaking, the relief but also the violence that causes this liberation of the word, especially in the conflicts that this entails with their faith when they are still believers.
Father Christian Delorme, "Always an interest in spreading the word"
François Ozon, who did not meet the Catholic authorities and had to shoot church scenes in Belgium and Luxembourg for lack of authorization, claims to have made a film from the point of view of the victims. "I did not invent anything about the facts themselves, He explains. The important thing for me was to tell the intimacy of the wounded men in their childhood. " Atheist, he believes he has not made a film against the Church, but he has tried "Shows his contradictions and the complexity of this case".