Poland, winter of 1945. Mathilde Beaulieu (Lou de Lâage) is a young intern working with a branch of the French Red Cross. They are on a mission to find, treat and repatriate French survivors of the German camps. One day, a Polish nun arrives in the hospital. In very poor French, she…
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The ultimate test of faith for these women. Being able to commit acts against their will in order to survive such a hopeless era of division and hostility, completely contrasts their religious beliefs. It's quite disturbing how their stories inevitably lets the audience create their own graphic visuals of the sexual abuse they have to endure in the convent. Powerful film!
A radial change of pace for Anne Fontaine who here tells a sobering and affecting tale of the ramifications of war on a group of nuns who were raped during the Russian occupation of Poland during WWII. A young French red cross worker is brought into their circle to help with the births but finds herself battling their vows and chastity. Questions of faith and fidelity and the perceived absence of God abound.
Based on true events. It's a remarkable story of a group of women persecuted by war, whilst socially limited by their beliefs, and what is expected of them of society. Moving performances by its lead actors, Lou de Laâge and Agata Buzek. Though I'm pretty sure feminists might find it a little disappointing in some way. Regardless, one cannot deny how powerful this film actually is.
I rate artificially low-ly because I mistakenly expected to see the 1961 thriller of the same name. Google-searchers, beware! (The search engine's results had it wrong.)
This was shot prettily and the cast was fine, but finally it joins many other unsubtle good vs evil WWII dramas, without the quirky humanism that can make that category pleasant.
"Faith is 24 hours of doubt and 1 minute of hope" --a trenchant line from this film. Director Anne Fontaine impressed me with her 1997 film "Dry Cleaning" and continues to pick up thought provoking subjects to film. Ms Fontaine has a great talent to get superb performances from her not-so-famous actors. She is definitely one of the best French filmmakers alive ranking alongside Claire Denis.