Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Movie Review: "The Innocents" (2016)

The Innocents (Les Innocentes)

Directed by: Anne Fontaine

Produced by: Éric Altmayer, Nicolas Altmayer, Philippe Carcassonne

Written by: Sabrina B. Karine, Pascal Bonitzer, Anne Fontaine, Alice Vial

Based on: an original concept by Philippe Maynial, based on actual events.

Starring: Lou de Laâge, Agata Kulesza, Agata Buzek, Vincent Macaigne

Running time: 115 minutes

Language: French, Polish, Russian (with English subtitles)

Released in Theaters: 2016

Anne Fontaine directed this French-Polish film, set mainly within the walls of a Polish Catholic convent in December of 1945, just after the end of World War II. Months after a brutal sexual assault by Soviet soldiers, one of the sisters is about to give birth. A young communist French Red Cross doctor named Mathilde (Lou de Laâge) is soon drawn into a tragic situation: she discovers several nuns in advanced states of pregnancy and sexual disease.

This movie is about the various crises of faith that emerge when a peaceful house of God full of unarmed women is ravaged by war. Not only is it a disturbing story, but it is also frustrating when the nuns are taught to not react to their circumstance out of fear, but through faith and practical wisdom and love. It is a journey to adapt to their new tragic situation without abandoning their calling, and turning tragedy into a blessing.