Lourdes

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Nau of Sands
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Lourdes

Postby Nau of Sands » Fri 01 Oct, 2010 12:05

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This one will not make unanimity and is not very geek-like usual stuff, I don t expect a tremendous success of this thread :absinthe: . Quite independent movie, not in the mood of the forum, but anyway, I go… :rawhide:

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Lourdes is a 2009 movie by the Austrian director Jessica Hausner, shot on location on the catholic pilgrimage city of Lourdes in the South of France. In 1858, the Virgin Mary (yes, the one in the Gospels…) is supposed to have appeared there to speak to a young girl. Since then, after heavy polemics at the time, Lourdes is a world known place for people to come to pray and expect a miracle.

Because, yes, some people have been said to have been healed of terrible diseases or infirmities thanks to the water of a spring of the city, close to where Virgin Mary has appeared.

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This is the story of Christine, a young woman suffering from multiple sclerosis, the disease at a quite advanced state. She can hardly move. That is the reason she made the trip, not that she expects a miracle or really believes in God, but in her state, she explains that she has actually no other possibility to make tourism except this kind of pilgrimages. So, she has become an expert in pilgrimages to escape an everyday life stuck in an hospital, to meet people and have a remote taste of real life.

This is a bitter-sweet chronicle of her journey in Lourdes, a quite acerbic depiction of the industrial administration of the place by the catholic church. The pilgrims are rather old people, some youngsters, most of them desperate. They are human people, which means that they are not always that funny. Some of them are, sometimes.

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It is hard to depict this movie. It is strange, interesting, moving. There is a documentary aspect of it. The pilgrimage organizers are depicted in a rather indifferent attitude, setting up cheesy activities such as the « pilgrim of the year » election. The pilgrim themselves are not spared, they are shown like kind of clients of a "Godish shop", having paid for the visit, so being in the right to expect a miraculous outcome from it. But Jessica Hausner remains tender, is never spiteful or judging them. This is the real miracle of this movie, its balance.

This is subtle, no heavy denunciation or anti-clerical or atheist stuff, neither a pro-church movie. This is not the point. Or is it ? Because I think the interest of the movie is raising questions, with very open interpretation of the pilgrimage motivations and people behaviour. So everyone watching it will probably have a different opinion at the end. This is open stuff, no easy satire, and certainly not something forcing you in ready-made conclusions.

Sylvie Testud interpretation is extraordinary.

I put a good 5/6.
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