© NFP/Filmwelt

Austria/France/Germany 2009

Opening 1 Apr 2010

Directed by: Jessica Hausner
Writing credits: Jessica Hausner
Principal actors: Sylvie Testud, Léa Seydoux, Gilette Barbier, Gerhard Liebmann, Bruno Todeschini

The southwest region of France displays the grandeur of the Pyrenees mountain range, and tucked away among the regions’ foothills is a small market town: Lourdes – known for its famous stone castle built in 1858 and the extraordinary event of Marian Apparition. It is believed that in the picturesque town of Lourdes, the Virgin Mary (Marian Apparition) supernaturally appeared to one or more persons in the community on several occasions, healing them of various ailments. Equivalent to biblical chronicles passed down through the generations, the French could not avoid the reality of the miraculous accounts, nor could they stop a yearly pilgrimage by those hoping for a miracle that would be life-changing.

Christine (Sylvie Testud), knew the story well from childhood: the historical account, the place of the yearly Roman Catholic pilgrimage and the alleged miraculous healings. She never dreamed she would one day long for such a quest until an incurable disease strikes her adult body. The desire to be healed from the blight destiny of life in a wheelchair thrusts Christine to actively expect her own providential miracle. The expectancy proves to be Christine’s virtue, along with the aid of Madame Hartl’s specific prayers and her daily assistance. Their journey takes place after healing occurs, and doubts surface whether they are but in a dream. (Karen Pecota)

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