Olivier Meyrou's French doc tackles difficult material—the murder of a gay man the power of forgiveness

Beyond Hatred

on June 15, 2007 by Tim Cogshell
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Beginning 730 days after the murder of Francois Chenu, Beyond Hatred ( Au-dela de la haine ) details the hate crime that took his life largely through the experience of his parents, on whom much of the film focuses. Their present stoicism belies what they readily admit is not the place where this journey began for them—on the night of the murder of their beloved son because he was gay.

On first look, Beyond Hatred , a powerful and gut-wrenching documentary about the ruthless murder of a young gay man by three skinheads, appears to be concerned with the prosecution of the killers and the political and social mores from which they came. In fact what French journalist-turned-documentarian Olivier Meyrou has captured is one of the most poignant films ever produced about the process of letting go of the grief and anger—and well-earned hatred—that wells up in one's soul when afflicted by an equally malignant hatred, born of yet even older hatreds and abuses, by humankind upon humankind.

Yet the Chenus forgive, at the most elemental levels, in their rational minds as well as their hearts. Beyond Hatred is a brutal yet delicate film that not everyone will be able to understand, but everyone should try. We should all really try.
Distributor: First Run
Director/Screenwriter: Olivier Meyrou
Producers: Christophe Girard and Katharina Marx
Genre: Documentary; French-language, subtitled
Rating: Unrated
Running time: 86 min
Release date: June 15, 2007 NY
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