Release date:June 15, 2007
Studio:First Run Features
"Beyond Hatred" is a unique film about one family’s need to forgive. On the night of September 13, 2002 Francois Chenu, because he admitted his homosexuality, was beaten to death by three skinheads and thrown into a pond. The gang was known to the police and quickly caught. Two years after the tragedy Francois’s parents continue to struggle with their grief and anger – but part of their struggle was to fight for tolerance and respect for others. "Beyond Hatred" depicts the details of this crime but primarily focuses on its aftermath. Director Oliver Meyrou traveled to Reims before the trials to get to know Francois’ family and the attorneys for those accused. Before and during the trial he sought to learn more about the men accused of the crime and their backgrounds of prejudice and neglect. He also began to observe the Chenu family who demonstrated great dignity as they tried to comprehend the circumstances that led to their inconsolable loss. Their grief was gradually replaced by a desire to understand the murderers, who came from socially and culturally underprivileged families and had been exploited by right-wing radical groups. The film documents the family’s effort to move from understanding to forgiveness. Meyru shot the film more with a filmmaker’s eye, than with that of a journalist, intending to make a documentary not about homophobia, but a more universal film about tolerance.