In 1857, an unemployed miller moves his family into grim lodgings; his wife takes in laundry. In February of 1858, at the Massabielle grotto, their 14-year old asthmatic, illiterate ... See full summary »
In 1857, an unemployed miller moves his family into grim lodgings; his wife takes in laundry. In February of 1858, at the Massabielle grotto, their 14-year old asthmatic, illiterate daughter, Bernadette, sees a light she later distinguishes as a beautiful young woman. The girl converses with the woman over the next few months. Crowds follow her and people are cured by the waters from a spring Bernadette has cleared. Secular authorities are threatened by the popular gatherings and subject the girl to police inquiry and medical review. The local monsignor is also skeptical, then becomes Bernadette's champion. She maintains her forthright simplicity and untutored wisdom throughout. Written by
This movie gets a lot of details right (or almost right) concerning the life of St. Bernadette. Song of Bernadette was beautifully written, but there wasn't as much effort to be accurate. Hence, this movie is great if you want a clearer idea of the life of this saint, and the circumstances she experienced. She is interpreted quite a bit differently from Song of Bernadette: with an emphasis on her human weaknesses to the point of melodrama. The movie received a PG rating because of some strong derogatory language that is aimed at Bernadette by some who were against her. The movie ends with her entrance into the convent, and the story is picked up in a sequel: The Passion of Bernadette, which I consider to be a better, more focused movie than this one.
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