French domestic abuse thriller terrifying US audiences

It is an unsatisfactory but all-too-familiar denouement of divorce battles involving children: the judge who must allow a violent man back into his family’s lives because there is no proof of abuse claims.
Oscar-nominated Xavier Legrand’s French-language thriller “Custody,” an unsparing account of abuse focusing as much on the damage to the children, has earned acclaim at home and on the festivals circuit ahead its summer US release.
“I would like people to realize that domestic violence is a real scourge in our society and that children are also victims who are too often forgotten,” Legrand, 40, told AFP during the COLCOA festival of French film in Los Angeles, which wraps on Monday.
“And especially that they understand that these kinds of situations can turn into horror. These are murders. Under no circumstances are these crimes of passion.”
Over half of the killings of women in the United States are related to domestic violence, government figures show, with victims often dying at the hands of an ex who was granted shared custody of the children.
Last year the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed around 10,000 murders of women in the decade from 2003, finding that more than half were perpetrated by a romantic partner or ex.

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