Beyond Hatred (Au-dela de la haine) (2007)
Movie InfoAfter their gay son, François Chenu, is beaten to death by 3 skinheads, a close-knit French family tries to move toward understanding and even forgiveness so that their fight for tolerance and respect for others can continue. Director Olivier Meyrou crafts this devestating documentary in classic verité style, allowing an immensely cathartic story to unfold at its own pace without unnecessary exposition or narration.
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Critic Reviews for Beyond Hatred (Au-dela de la haine)
Director Olivier Meyrou takes a potently oblique vérité approach, and his remarkable level of access reveals the limitations and equivocal mercies of human understanding with uncommon grace.
An example of a film whose style doesn't merely suit its story but amplifies its meanings.
Paced like a drama, imbued with a spellbinding intimacy, and impressionistic in its visual portrayal of crime and punishment, it follows the 2002 murder of Francois Chenu, a gay man beaten by Nazi skinheads and left to drown in a nearby pond in Reims.
Thankfully, Meyrou's intent isn't to launch a predictable crusade against homophobia itself, but to quietly understand the factors that molded this young trio into senseless killers.
Exemplifies the finest French traditions of dignified rationalism in the pursuit of understanding - in both personal and judicial contexts.
A documentary that celebrates a cathartic act of forgiveness and reconciliation by a grieving family whose gay son was brutally murdered.
Absorbingly covers the 2002 murder in Reims, France, of 29-year-old homosexual François Chenu.
Through a series of interviews, we see the effect inexplicable hatred and murder has on an ordinary family.
It all has a cumulatively lulling effect, if a nightmare could ever be described so.
a contemplative, almost poetic examination of the proper workings of justice, and an exemplary depiction of a ruined family rebuilt on the foundations of its own humanistic values.
Olivier Meyrou may keep his distance from his subjects, but staying out of their way doesn't mean losing sight of their troubles.
While the documentary is well intended, that of parents' willingness to forgive three punks for murdering their son, the direction is uncreative and dull.
It's unlikely to appeal to your mainstream moviegoer, but this French documentary achieves remarkable things with a depressing subject.
Meyrou's suitably sombre film leaves you with a sense of enormous respect for a couple refusing to be consumed by hatred, prepared instead to offer their forgiveness.
This deeply moving account of a French family's response to a needless tragedy is all the more effective as it eschews the sensationalism of so much modern reportage.
The settings are mundane, but the exchanges are emotionally raw and so neatly convey both the drama and the grinding daily routine of having to cope with tragedy.
Audience Reviews for Beyond Hatred (Au-dela de la haine)
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