Grâce à Dieu

By the Grace of God | Gelobt sei Gott
Alexandre lives with his wife and children in Lyon. One day he discovers by chance that the priest who abused him when he was a boy scout is still working with young people. Long repressed memories awaken. Distraught, Alexandre finally finds the courage to take action against the man. His search for further victims of the clergyman, who is highly respected in his office, leads Alexandre to François and Emmanuel. Each of these three men is struggling with himself in a different way. And each of them will have to do battle with the shadows of their past in order to cope with the far-reaching consequences of this process. The creation of the self-help organisation ‘La Parole Libérée’ (The Liberated Word) is just the first step.
Based on the real case of Father Bernard Preynat who in 2016 was charged with sexually assaulting around 70 boys in Lyon, François Ozon portrays the victims as adult men and reveals the lifelong wounds they have sustained. At the same time, the film criticises the church’s silence on paedophilia and asks about its complicity. As of January 2019, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin is standing trial for ‘non-denunciation of sexual aggression’.
by François Ozon
with Melvil Poupaud, Denis Ménochet, Swann Arlaud, Éric Caravaca, François Marthouret, Bernard Verley, Martine Erhel, Josiane Balasko, Hélène Vincent, François Chattot, Frédéric Pierrot, Aurélia Petit, Julie Duclos, Jeanne Rosa, Amélie Daure
France 2019 French 137’ Colour


  • Melvil Poupaud (Alexandre Guérin)
  • Denis Ménochet (François Debord)
  • Swann Arlaud (Emmanuel Thomassin)
  • Éric Caravaca (Gilles Perret)
  • François Marthouret (Cardinal Barbarin)
  • Bernard Verley (Bernard Preynat)
  • Martine Erhel (Régine Maire)
  • Josiane Balasko (Irène)
  • Hélène Vincent (Odile Debord)
  • François Chattot (Pierre Debord)
  • Frédéric Pierrot (Captain Courteau)
  • Aurélia Petit (Marie Guérin)
  • Julie Duclos (Aline Debord)
  • Jeanne Rosa (Dominique Perret)
  • Amélie Daure (Jennifer)


Written and Directed by François Ozon
Cinematography Manu Dacosse
Editing Laure Gardette
Music Evgueni Galperine, Sacha Galperine
Sound Design Jean-Paul Hurier
Sound Brigitte Taillandier, Benoît Gargonne, Jean-Paul Hurier
Production Design Emmanuelle Duplay
Costumes Pascaline Chavanne
Make-Up Natali Tabareau-Vieuille
Assistant Director Alain Olivieri
Casting David Bertrand, Anaïs Duran
Production Manager Aude Cathelin
Producers Eric Altmayer, Nicolas Altmayer

Produced by

Mandarin Production

François Ozon

Born in Paris, France in 1967, the director and screenwriter studied at La Fémis film school and is now one of the most renowned filmmakers in his country. Peter von Kant is his fifth film to screen in the Berlinale Competition following Water Drops on Burning Rocks, which won the 2000 Teddy Award, the 2002 comedy 8 Women, whose ensemble female cast won the Silver Bear, Angel in 2007, Ricky in 2009 and the 2019 film By the Grace of God, for which he won the Grand Jury Prize. In 2012, he was a member of the Competition jury himself.

Filmography (selection)

1998 Sitcom 1999 Les amants criminels (Criminal Lovers) 2000 Gouttes d’eau sur pierres brûlantes (Water Drops on Burning Rocks) · Sous le sable (Under the Sand) 2002 8 femmes (8 Women) 2003 Swimming Pool 2004 5 x 2 2005 Le temps qui reste (Time to Leave) 2007 Angel 2009 Ricky · La refuge (The Refuge) 2010 Potiche 2012 Dans la maison (In the House) 2013 Jeune et jolie (Young & Beautiful) 2014 Une nouvelle amie (The New Girlfriend) 2016 Frantz 2017 L’amant double 2019 Grâce à Dieu (By the Grace of God) 2020 Été 85 (Summer of 85) 2021 Tout s’est bien passé (Everything Went Fine) · Peter von Kant

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022