||29 September 2012 (Saturday), 1 pm
Free admission but members only -- flash your membership card to go in. You may bring up to 2 guests if you hold a SFS Reel membership card. Non-members may sign up online or at the door -- we will issue membership on the spot. No tickets will be sold. Free seating.
Writer/Director: Jessica Hausner
2009/ France/ 99 min/ Drama/ Colour/ French/ PG/ 35mm
Cast: Sylvie Testud, Léa Seydoux, Bruno Todeschini, Gilette Barbier, Gerhard Liebmann, Elina Löwensohn
Christine (Sylvie Testud) suffering from multiple sclerosis and paralyzed in a wheel-chair, has come to Lourdes, a French Pyrenean pilgrimage site where miracles have been associated with the Virgin Mary, as part of a group tour organised by the religious Order of Malta. Christine’s repressed feelings – of overall frustration of her condition and the longings of a young girl wanting to be wooed – surface when the young nurse Maria (Léa Seydoux) assigned to help Christine appears less interested in her duties and more in the male attendants including Kuno (Bruno Todeschini) – a dashing young man, Christine fancies.
Shot intelligently (and vividly) on location, a series of intriguing events that ensue allows Austrian writer/director Jessica Hausner to explore motivations - apparent and hidden – along with expectations – not just of Christine’s and her fellow miracle seekers but that of the audience too. (Hausner worked on the script of Michael Haneke’s less subtle Funny Games). Juxtaposing the obvious expectation of a miracle for Christine against skepticisim with inexplicable contra-events, Lourdes, invites introspection into one’s desire for simple answers and provocatively, into our often inadequate comprehension of the strength of the human spirit.
9 International Awards Won including: FIPRESCI prize at 2009 Venice Film Festival
Nominated for the Golden Lion, 2009 Venice Film Festival.
Guardian UK Review