Archive of films Lourdes / Lourdes
Austria / France / Germany
2009, 99 min
Another group of believers is on its way to France’s famous pilgrimage site. Christine (Sylvie Testud), a not especially pious young woman confined to a wheelchair, is among them. Will she return home healthy? And will her transformation signify a miracle or merely an expected development of her condition? The movie competed successfully at the Venice IFF.
Lourdes, the world-famous pilgrimage spot, offers hope, comfort, and superficial satisfaction to throngs of believers – and they can even round out their visit with the purchase of a kitschy souvenir. Christine, who is confined to a wheelchair, is also seeking something but it’s not exactly clear just what that is. The excursion, however, does indeed bring changes into her life, and major ones at that. The serene and at the same time suspenseful movie allows room for wonder and speculation as it gently asks whether God’s mysterious ways aren’t merely an illusion. The film works both as a story of redemption and as an unbiased look at the role of faith in the lives of humans who, to a greater or lesser extent, devote themselves to their beliefs. In the search for much-needed solace, both humanity and cynicism can be found. Sylvie Testud, who won Best Actress at KVIFF 2003 (among others) for her part in Fear and Trembling, turned in a bewitching and subdued starring performance.
About the director
Jessica Hausner (b. 1972, Vienna) graduated in direction from the Vienna Film Academy. She drew admiration for her short film Flora (1996), awarded at the Locarno IFF, and for Inter-View (1999), awarded at Cannes. Her feature debut, the growing pains drama Lovely Rita (2001), was screened in the Un certain regard section at the Cannes festival, as was her second feature, the unconventional psychological thriller Hotel (2004); both pictures were shown at Karlovy Vary. Lourdes is her third writer-director feature. Screened in competition at the Venice festival, Hausner’s latest film took four awards, including the FIPRESCI Prize.
About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Dir. of Photography:||Martin Gschlacht|
|Producer:||Martin Gschlacht, Philippe Bober, Susanne Marian|
|Production:||Coop99 Filmproduktion, Parisienne de Production, Essential Filmproduktion|
|Cast:||Sylvie Testud, Léa Seydoux, Bruno Todeschini, Elina Löwensohn, Gerhard Liebmann, Linde Prelog, Heidi Baratta, Hubsi Kramar, Helga Illich|