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 ... See full summary »
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
'Vision' is a worthy but uninspired biopic about the renowned medieval mystic Hildegard Von Bingen, who was a nun in the Benedictine Order in 12th century Germany. The historical record informs us that she was a formidable and compassionate human being, who discouraged severe ascetic practices, believing that God intended humans to live healthy, contented lives of hard work, charity and spiritual devotion. She became the 'magistra' of her order and eventually founded two convents, writing books on medicine, composing music and teaching her own method of contemplation.
'Vision' chooses to focus chiefly on various intrigues within Hildegard's cloistered world of nuns, monks and bishops, as well as the nobility who provided financial backing for religious orders. No doubt there was some jealousy within that environment which obstructed her various endeavors, but Hildegard was a respected 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 and spiritual insights were crucial aspects of her life's work, but being difficult to film, they are pretty much ignored in favor of her worldly activities. The acting and cinematography are sufficiently competent for the task at hand, but anyone hoping to learn something profound about Hildegard's esoteric philosophy from 'Vision' is likely to be disappointed.
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