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USA: Palisades Tartan
UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Sylvie Testud, Lea Seydoux, Bruno Todeschini, Elina Löwensohn, Gerhard Liebmann, Linde Prelog, Heidi Baratta, Hubert ('Hubsi') Kramar, Helga Illich, Gilette Barbier, Katharina Flicker, Jacky Pratoussy, Walter Benn
Director: Jessica Hausner
Countries: Austria / France / Germany
Language: French (English subtitles)
USA: 96 mins
UK: 99 mins
UK Certificate: U contains no material likely to offend or harm
USA Release Date: 5 March 2010 (Limited Release - New York
USA Release Date: 17 February 2010 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 26 March 2010 (Limited Release)
Jessica Hausner's (LOVELY RITA, HOTEL) third feature tells the story of a pilgrimage to Lourdes. Among the pilgrims are sufferers of various illnesses as well as others in good health. They undertake the journey in hope of finding spiritual comfort or a bodily cure. Sylvie Testud (LA VIE EN ROSE) takes the central role of Christine, a multiple sclerosis sufferer and religious sceptic, who travels more for companionship than in hope of a miracle. But as the trip develops her lack of faith is tested with the hope of a new life whilst, around her, the affectations and jealousies of the assorted entourage of religious officials and fellow suffers are being exposed. Throughout Hausner expertly details the complexity and hypocrisies of religious faith with a nuance and subtlety reminiscent of Dreyer's masterpiece Ordert.
Christine has been confined to a wheelchair for most of her life. In order to escape her isolation, she makes a journey to Lourdes, the iconic site of pilgrimage in the Pyrenees mountains. She wakes up one morning seemingly cured by a miracle. The leader of the pilgrimage group, a handsome 40 year-old volunteer from the Order of Malta, begins to take an interest in her. She tries to hold on to this newfound chance for happiness, while her cure provokes envy and admiration.