Directed by Olivier Meyrou • Documentary • With Marie-Cecile Chenu, Jean-Paul Chenu • 2007 • 85 minutes
In 2002, three French neofascist skinheads went to a public park in Rheims looking for an ‘Arab’ to attack when they came across Francois Chenu, a young gay man. When he refused to deny his homosexuality when taunted with gay slurs, he was viciously beaten and thrown unconscious into a pond, where he drowned.
In this deeply moving, award-winning documentary, Chenu’s family reflects on the murder of their 29-year-old son and courageously tries tomove beyond feelings of hatred and revenge. Filmed in classic verité style, without unnecessary exposition or narration and in a non-sensationalist manner, Beyond Hatred explores the social and psychological roots of homophobia and similar hate crimes, and demonstrates the emotional maturity that enables the rare human quality of forgiveness. Featuring interviews with prosecution and defense lawyers, relatives of the accused, and the parents and sister of the victim, this remarkably intimate film reveals the gradual process of emotional catharsis - from initial shock and grief to an understanding of how the deprived and prejudiced backgrounds of their son’s killers generated such violence.
"Visually, Beyond Hatred is precise, handsome -- even brilliant." —AV Club