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This chilling French film based on true events is leaving Netflix soon and you absolutely have to see it

This chilling French film based on true events is leaving Netflix soon and you absolutely have to see it

This chilling French film based on true events is leaving Netflix soon and you absolutely have to see it


Thank God: A Great Film by François Ozon

Thank God is a film by François Ozon released in 2019, inspired by real events of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, and carried forward, among others, by Melvil Poupaud, Denis Ménochet, Swann Arlaud and Josiane Balasko.

The plot follows the story of three men, Alexandre (Melvil Poupaud), François (Denis Ménochet) and Emmanuel (Swann Arlaud), who become friends and join forces to denounce sexual abuse suffered during their childhood by Father Bernard Preynat (Bernard Verley). Their testimonies shed light on Preynat’s crimes and the complicit silence of the Church.

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The film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize. It was released in French theaters on February 20, 2019 and attracted attention almost a million viewers. It is also one of the most appreciated films of the year 2019, both by the press and by the spectators.

Thank God He was nominated eight times for the 2020 César Awards and won the statuette for best supporting actor for Swann Arlaud.

Inspired by real events

The film Thank God is directly inspired by the Bernard Preynat case and the action of the association “La Parole Libéré”. Father Bernard Preynat, a priest of the diocese of Lyon, was accused by several men of having sexually abused them when they were children in the 1970s and 1980s. These abuses were covered up by the Church for decades.. The victims, once they came of age, decided to break the silence and ask for justice.

The association “La Parole Librée” was created in 2015 by François Devaux, himself a victim of Father Preynat, to support victims and denounce sexual abuse in the Church. This association, dissolved in 2021, played a fundamental role in mediating the affair and the questioning of the ecclesiastical hierarchyin particular Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, accused of having covered up Preynat’s actions.

The latter was dismissed (stripped of his priestly status) in 2019 and sentenced to five years in prison in 2020 for sexual assault on minors. Cardinal Philippe Barbarin was convicted in the first instance for failure to report sexual assault, then acquitted on appeal in 2021.

The film’s title comes from a comment made by Cardinal Barbarin in 2016 regarding the accusations against Father Preynat: “ Most of the facts, thank God, are prescribed, but some perhaps not. “.

Priest Bernard Preynat died in his home on June 23 after being sentenced to five years in prison (he had been released, under an electronic bracelet, a few weeks ago).

Source: Cine Serie

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