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Foto: ©Patricia Marchart
Factsheet “The Children Send Their Regards”
German: download PDF [1,4MB]
THE CHILDREN SEND THEIR REGARDS nominated for the Slamdance film festival
As sole European production on the shortlist for documentaries
What a joy it is to have an Austrian film on this precarious topic invited to participate in an important film festival in the US. As an alternative to the Sundance festival, the Slamdance film festival awards independent films since 1995. “The Children Send Their Regards” is now in with a chance for this important movie award.
AVISO Premiere: “The Children Send Their Regards”
Victims of abuse by the Church indict
The touching documentary film shows the life of nine affected people between powerlessness, anger and hope.
Vienna – For the first time in Austria, people who were abused by priests and nuns speak openly about what was done to them. Accompanied by the camera, those affected visit the scenes of those distant crimes, many go public with stories they have never revealed before, in some cases their families hear about this hidden pain for the very first time. After two years of filming, we are presented with a genre picture of violence, cover-up and hypocrisy, an insight into what was probably the greatest crime of the post-war period, which is likely to have affected around 16,000 people. Sexual abuse by members of the Church remains a trauma throughout the whole of society.
“Now I am no longer a victim”
“When we got the idea for this film, it wasn’t clear whether we would find anyone who would talk to the camera about the abuse they suffered,” recalls film director Patricia Marchart. “But within a short space of time so many affected people responded that we were unable to accept them all. Nobody wanted to accept the anonymity on offer. To the very end, everyone had the option to revoke their film material, but nobody wanted to.” “After decades I can now finally deal with my own story, proven by files containing hundreds of pages, but the years have now been lived and my strength could have been used for nicer things,” summarises Inge Killmeyer bitterly in the interview. It is a film that not only indicts, but also provides hope: “I have said everything, now I am no longer a victim,” says Joe Auer.
The offenders continue to be covered or even hidden by the Church, there is still an unholy alliance between Church and State. The sad climax is a so-called “gesture of responsibility”, with which the parliamentary president, Bures, and Cardinal Schönborn, as representative of the perpetrators’ organisation, attempted in the Austrian parliament on 17.11 to draw a final line under a topic that is very uncomfortable for the Catholic Church.