Maria finds herself caught between two worlds. At school this 14-year-old girl has all the typical teenage interests, but when she’s at home with her family she follows the teachings of the Society of St. Pius XII and their traditionalist interpretation of Catholicism…
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A thought-provoking and profoundly disturbing film that exposes the harmful side of religion and faith, directed with a noteworthy formal rigor in mostly static long takes and with a skillful mise-en-scène that underlines the overwhelming pressure that the protagonist is living under.
Bedrückend war meine Stimmung beim Zuschauen dieses interessanten Werks. In 13 Sequenzen - mit nahezu starrer Kamera und ohne Cut - wird die Zerstörung eines jungen, hoffnungsvollen Lebens durch Elternhaus und Kirche verstörend dargestellt.
Eine zugleich besonders ruhige und sehr dramatische Darstellung dessen was es mit Menschen machen kann wenn sie verzweifelt an einen strengen und strafenden Gott glauben und im irdischen Leben keine Gnade erfahren durch die Menschen denen sie am meisten Vertrauen und Liebe schenken.
The rigor of the one-shot situation for every station and its visual construction without cuts (and of course its iconic references to historic representations of the stations of the cross) not only creates a special kind of tension but also generates very intense performances by the actors. So the film mirrors and thereby criticizes the despicable logic of a totalitarian religious system.
The story, which follows young Maria through her own 14 stations of the Via Crúcis, borrows its structure from the biblical episode, and it's very well thought, written and acted. It's scary to think that people can still be raised and live according to such oppressing beliefs nowadays. If God exists, then may he deliver the world of these fanatics!
Hemmed in, maybe, by the schematic that girds and grounds it, Stations of the Cross transfixes shot by mostly static shot, but in sum amounts to frustratingly less than it promises to. Yet it haunts all the same.