Lourdes

96 minutes 2009

In this austere but often wry French drama (2009), a woman with multiple sclerosis (Sylvie Testud) makes a religious pilgrimage to the title town, where millions have journeyed since the Virgin Mary was reportedly seen there in 1858. The protagonist isn't particularly devout, going more for social contact than for any hope of a miracle, but when she rises from her wheelchair one day, cured, the incident provokes envy and spite among others in her tour group. Austrian writer-director Jessica Hausner uses rigorously formal compositions to echo Christian iconography, though her script focuses on the vexing nature of miracles: are they divine signs, proving that life has meaning, or merely random events, further testing the limits of human endurance? In French with subtitles.

Film Credits

Director: Jessica Hausner

Producer: Philippe Bober, Martin Gschlacht and Susanne Marian

Cast: Sylvie Testud, Léa Seydoux, Gilette Barbier, Gerhard Liebmann, Bruno Todeschini, Elina Lowensohn, Katharina Flicker, Linde Prelog, Heidi Baratta, Jacky Pratoussy, Walter Benn, Hubert Kramar, Helga Illich, Bernadette Schneider, Thomas Uhlir and Martin Pesl

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