Saw this at the Rotterdam film festival (iffr.com) 2016. I left disappointed, all things considered, in spite of several good points this movie makes. We hear and read about people who switch to a new religion, which requires positive action and a certain degree of devotion to persevere and to convince the new church to accept a truly new member. On the other hand, wanting to to apostatize is something completely different, if not more trouble than it is worth, given that a silent majority only believe on paper, and have practically lost (as good as) the religion taught in their youth.
Our main protagonist started the process to apostatize all right with a visit to his old church to obtain a copy of his baptismal record, this being a formal step necessary per religious law. Accidentally his request was handled by the parish priest who baptized him many many years ago. Even more interesting was a subsequent meeting with the bishop, who was pointing to St Augustin as an example, who was known to have also doubted his faith but sustained nevertheless. Another story line involves his family who only heard of his plans via-via and at a very late stage. As a matter of course, his mother was very disappointed, not only for him losing his faith but also "what other people will think/say about it". Witnessing the various people he meets along the process, we see that our main protagonist seems well versed and determined to bring this task to an end.
On the other hand, his general behavior is far from spotless overall, and his educational results are not good either. Is he a failure, a debauchee or just an easy living bon-vivant who cannot care about his future? I sincerely missed a follow-up on his near-meeting with a group of people concerned with personal privacy, like Bits Of Freedom (NL) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (US). Alas, he was distracted when seeing naked people passing by and he followed them into a meeting of nudists, who (for some reason) started whispering about him against each other (we could not hear what was said).
(*** possible spoiler ahead ***) He demonstrates another instance of irresponsible behavior in the final scene, where we see him tearing a page from the church record. This is the page with his own baptismal record, but also containing similar information on several other people, and this action yields neither a conclusive ending nor a formal closure. Nice touch was that he was nearly caught in the act, and left the church walking backwards while hiding the torn page behind his back. This exactly demonstrates what the official procedure looked like, outlined in aforementioned meeting by the bishop as being customary in earlier days to abstain.
All in all, a mixed bag of good and wishy-washy things in this movie, and I had expected much more contents. Anyway, the story clearly demonstrates how difficult it is to really detach yourself from the catholic church, while over 90% of the people are church members by default without really thinking about it, let alone taking the trouble to abstain. Most people will rather keep their belief "dormant" and recognize the existence of the church only on special occasions (marriage, death, Christmas, etcetera), for the simple reason that everyone else does it. The movie nicely shows the formal process as per religious law, and also demonstrates the endless obstacles raised by the church hierarchy, something only fully determined people will get through with.