It seemed to me that the film indulged itself in the same morbid contemplation both with the religious singing and the horrendous screamings during labor, and that disgusted me in a way I can't yet fully understand. On the other hand, perhaps I've seen too many films about the miseries of WWII but I found it surprisingly predictable.
The horrors don’t end when the war ends, and as The Innocents reminds us, the first months of peace can be (and were) hell for some. This well-crafted film will leave you – once again, I’m sure – pondering the wickedness of the human race, the male part of it especially, but at the same time it shows the beautiful side of humanity as well. That might sound cheesy, but it isn’t.
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!
"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.
'Les Innocentes' (The Innocents) is a devastating, yet powerfully moving and hopeful film that tackles complex themes from a refreshing perspective. The film is available for streaming on Amazon Prime. Highly recommend giving it a watch! (01 - 02 - 2017)
This is haunting beyond words; based on the true story of Mathilde Beaulieu, The Innocents wrestles with the yin and yang principles of faith and doubt--and the fatidic cruelties that lie therein--through the story of a Polish convent's post-war shame and secrecy. Beautifully shot, beautifully directed, and beautifully acted.
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.