Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Marie-Cecile Chenu, Jean-Paul Chenu
Director: Olivier Meyrou
Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
In 2002, three French neofacist skinheads went to a public park in Rheims, looking for an Arab to attack when they came across Francios Chenu, a young gay man. When he refused to deny his homosexuality when taunted with ga... more »
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The Road to Forgiveness
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 04/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
The Road to Forgiveness
Opening in New York on June 15th at the Village Cinema is a movie that has caused a great deal of buzz, "Beyond Hatred" ("Au Dela de la Haine"). It is now available on DVD from First Run Films. It is a documentary, a moving story of the homophobic murder on September 13, 2003 of Francois Chenu by three skinheads. "Beyond Hatred" shows the details of the crime but it basically puts its focus on what happened afterwards. The director, Oliver Meyrou traveled to Reims before the trials of the murderers so that he could get to know Francois' family and the attorneys for the accused.
Before and as the trial continued, he sought to learn about the men who had been accused of the deed and their backgrounds of hatred, prejudice and intolerance. What we get is not a movie about homophobia but one about the nature of tolerance.
When Francois admitted that he was gay, he was beaten to death and thrown into a pond. The perpetrators were know to law enforcement and were caught very quickly. Yet two years after the happening, Francois' parents were still struggling with both anger and grief. However, part of their struggle was to fight for the respect of others and tolerance.
Meyrou followed it all and he soon found himself on a different road than the one he expected--he was on the road to forgiveness.
Filled with emotion--both raw and restrained, the movie shows with somber force the dignified restraint of the Chenu family and how they managed to control their anger and loss. The film rivets the viewer I its amazingly compassionate view of what happened. There is a depth here not usually seen in documentaries. Filmed in the style of cinema verite, Meyrou lets the story unfold at its own pace and the catharsis it brings, it a catharsis for the entire world. The Chenu family was able to move past anger and revenge and we have one of the most dignified and poignant documentaries ever made.