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The life story of the multi-talented German nun Hildegard von Bingen. The film portrays an original woman - best known as a composer and religious visionary - whose grand claims often run counter to the patriarchal world around her. The monks and nuns at the convent become a kind of family, offering both confidants and enemies. For example Jutta, struggling with her jealousy of Hildegard's success, and the young Richardis who worships Hildegard both as an intellectual role model and a mother figure. Written by
Göteborg International Film Festival
Films about spiritual teachers tend to be solemn affairs, although anybody who has spent time with a mystic knows they often possess charismatic charm and a subversive sense of humor. 'Vision' is an uninspired biopic about Hildegard Von Bingen, who was a Benedictine nun in medieval Germany. History relates she taught her own method of contemplation, became the 'magistra' of her order, founded two convents, and wrote books on medicine and musical composition. Her teachings discouraged severe ascetic practices, reflecting her belief that God intended humans to pursue contented lives devoted to hard work, charity and spiritual invocation.
'Vision' focuses on various intrigues within Hildegard's world of nuns, monks and bishops, as well as the nobility who provided financial backing for cloistered orders. No doubt there was some jealousy within that circle which obstructed some of her endeavors, but she was a formidable figure in 12th century Germany, traveling widely on preaching tours at a time when women were traditionally banned from such pursuits. Hildegard's contemplative disciplines were a crucial aspect of her life's work but being impossible to film, they are mostly ignored in favor of her worldly activities. The acting and cinematography are sufficient for the task at hand, but anyone hoping to learn about Hildegard's esoteric philosophy is likely to be disappointed.
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