With her unfathomable, slightly cynical look, the French actress Sylvie Testud is the perfect choice to play Christine, a lonely, almost entirely handicapped woman who goes on a pilgrimage to Lourdes. Not that she believes in miracles - it just happens to be the only way to get out and about. Even in Lourdes, faith in miracles has been severely devalued. Just standing up and walking is not something you can count on, according to a priest working there.
Lourdes remains intangible in an intriguing way for a long time. Calm, sober and with empathy, the Austrian Jessica Hausner records everyday events in this religious tourist attraction. It never turns into real satire, or melodrama, but it is a subtle study about hope, faith and the whims of life. And what if a miracle really did happen? Among the four prizes that the film won in Venice, not only was there one from a Catholic jury, but also one from an atheist group.


Filmmaker
Jessica Hausner
Country
Austria, France, Germany
Year
2009
Medium
35mm
Length
98’
Language
French
Producer
Martin Gschlacht, Philippe Bober, Susanne Marian
Production Company
Coop99 Filmproduktion, Société Parisienne de Production
Sales
Coproduction Office (oud)
Writer
Jessica Hausner
Cinematography
Martin Gslacht
Editor
Karina Ressler
Production Design
Katharina Wöppermann
Sound Design
Matz Müller
Cast
Sylvie Testud