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Music Box Films is proud to annouce the release of François Ozon’s BY THE GRACE OF GOD, based on the gripping true story of three adult men who band together to expose the code of silence in the Catholic Church that continued to empower a priest who abused them as boys. BY THE GRACE OF GOD is scheduled to open in New York on Friday, October 18 at Film Forum, and in Los Angeles on October 25 at the Nuart followed by a national roll out.

Alexandre (Melvil Poupaud, Laurence Anyways), lives in Lyon, a bastion of the French Catholic bourgeoisie, with his wife and five children. A fervent churchgoer, he learns that Father Preynat (Bernard Verley), the priest who abused him when he was a Boy Scout, is still working with children. He decides to take action, soon to be joined by two other victims of the priest, François (Denis Ménochet, Custody and Inglorious Basterds) and Emmanuel (Swann Arlaud, Bloody Milk). The three go to great lengths to denounce the perpetrator and the institution that has protected him, a risky endeavor that endangers relationships with their loved ones, and compromise their own fragile selves.

The film is based on Ozon’s extensive research and interviews with Father Preynat’s real life victims, who fully supported the director’s project. The explosive investigation and subsequent trial of Cardinal Barbarin became a French media sensation, covered widely around the world.

Father Preynat was indicted in January 2016 and placed under judicial supervision for sexual assault. On July 4, 2019 he was defrocked by a church tribunal, and faces trial in a French court next year. In March of 2019, Cardinal Barbarin was found guilty by a French court of covering up decades-old sexual abuse by Father Preynat and received a six-month suspended sentence which he is appealing.

The drama marks a departure for François Ozon, one of French cinema’s most prolific writer-directors whose career has spanned the last 20 years. His credits include See The Sea, Under the Sand, Hideaway, In The House, Swimming Pool, The New Girlfriend and Frantz. He recently finished filming his twentieth feature film, Summer ’84. BY THE GRACE OF GOD won the Silver Bear at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival.

"A thoughtful, fast-paced, and immaculately acted procedural that unfolds with the urgency of a newspaper deadline, “By the Grace of God” zips through the facts of this horrid case, while also shaping them into a lens through which to examine the uneasy relationships between mercy and justice — between faith and the flawed institution that exists to preserve it.” Indiewire, David Ehrlich

“There's of-the-moment cinema and then there's on-the-moment cinema, ripped so freshly from the headlines that the filmmaking still bears a few ink smudges.” Variety, Guy Lodge

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SYNONYMS Film Opening October 25

Kino Lorber is proud to announce the release of SYNONYMS, the striking new film by acclaimed Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid whose Policeman and The Kindergarten Teacher quickly established him as one of the most original directors working today. Winner of the top prize at this year’s Berlin Film Festival along with the International Critics Prize (FIPRESCI), and a selection of the upcoming Toronto and New York Film Festivals, SYNONYMS is scheduled to open in New York on Friday, October 25 at Film at Lincoln Center and The Quad Cinema followed by a national roll out.

Entirely set in Paris, SYNONYMS focuses on Yoav (Tom Mercier), a young Israeli man who has moved there with great expectations that France will save him from what he sees as the madness of his country. Desperate to erase his origins, he refuses to speak Hebrew, relying on a French dictionary to communicate with the new people he encounters. Inspired by the real life experiences of writer-director Nadav Lapid, SYNONYMS features a hypnotic performance from newcomer Tom Mercier as the deeply alienated Yoav. In this tragicomic puzzle about cultural identities, Yoav's attempts to find himself awaken past demons while opening up an existential abyss.

After completing his military service, 44-year old Lapid studied philosophy at Tel Aviv University while writing sports columns and short stories. Much like his SYNONYMS protagonist, he soon felt he had to leave Israel determined never to come back. Uprooting himself, he moved to Paris because of his self-professed admiration for Napoleon, and a passion for soccer star Zidane and Godard movies. Lapid ended up returning to Israel to pursue a degree at the Sam Spiegel Film School in Jerusalem. He made his much admired debut in 2011 with Policeman (winner of three prizes at the Jerusalem Film Festival, the Special Jury Prize in Locarno, and a New York Film Festival selection), followed by The Kindergarten Teacher (Cannes Film Festival’s Critics’ Week, New Directors/New Films), released by Kino Lorber in 2015.

SYNONYMS marks the screen debut of 25 year-old actor Tom Mercier who is currently shooting “We Are Who We Are,” the new HBO series directed by Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) opposite Chloe Sevigny.

“Nadav Lapid’s astonishing, maddening, brilliant, hilarious, obstinate, and altogether unmissable new film” - David Ehrlich, Indiewire

"Nadav Lapid’s fiercely compelling SYNONYMS keep the pace with an Israeli in Paris caught somewhere between misfit struggle and revolutionary profundity.” Yonca Talu, Film Comment

 

 

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