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Soeur Sourire (2009)

A biography of the Belgian nun Jeannine Deckers, who became a popular singer in the early 1960s and struggled with the contradiction between the church and her true self.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sandrine Blancke ...
Annie
...
...
Françoise
Jo Deseure ...
Gabrielle Deckers
...
Lucien Deckers
...
Christelle Cornil ...
Soeur Christine
Fabienne Loriaux ...
La maîtresse des novices
...
Pierre
Philippe Résimont ...
Pollet
...
Père Jean
...
La doyenne des Dominicaines
Bernard Eylenbosch ...
Père Dubois
François Beukelaers ...
L'évêque
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Storyline

Soeur Sourire is a moving story based on the life of a fascinating historic figure, Jeannine, a young Belgian girl who joined the convent and became a star in 1961 when she composed and sang the hit Dominique, nique, nique... The tragedy experienced by this young woman, who adopted the stage name Soeur Sourire, has everything to do with love. Jeannine Deckers desperately tries to give others the love she never received from her hard-hearted mother. She becomes attached to Annie, but when the latter tries to get closer, she runs. She dreams of moving away to far places, to Africa. When the situation at home becomes unbearable, she feels that joining a convent is the only way out. Life in the convent is hard for the young, passionate woman, but also gives her moments of joy she had never had before. She composes Dominique and is used by the church in an attempt to rejuvenate its waning image. The song becomes a hit all over the world. Written by Hannelore Goossens

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

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Details

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Release Date:

29 April 2009 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Sister Smile  »

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Box Office

Budget:

€6,000,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?

Connections

References The Singing Nun (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A gorgeous, stylish, moving film.

This film was obviously a labor of love... it's perceptible in every frame. I'm surprised it's not better known, because it works in every way. Truly Jeannine Deckers was a woman ahead of her time, even if that world wasn't ready for her. A gay icon, avant-la-lettre. And people ahead of their time sometimes must go through hell, and Jeannine did.

Exquisitely, stylishly photographed, elegantly and suavely edited, and superbly acted and directed, this will be a must-see for those immersed in Catholic theology, women's studies, sexual politics, those immersed in GLBT issues and history, 1960's history, and those who simply loved her 1962 hit, "Dominique" (even though her record was presented maniacally, as a source of bizarrerie in the recent episodes of American HORROR STORY, perhaps unfortunately.) The period details are stunningly accurate throughout... Belgium in the 1960's is flawlessly rendered... every prop, fabric, automobile and hairstyle is note-perfect.

The character obviously representing Ed Sullivan has been given a similar-sounding pseudonym in this film, almost surely because of permission rights in using his name. But anyone with any wit at all recognizes him and his TV show.

This is a film of great subtlety and emotion, and the tour-de-force performance given by the lovely and amazing Cécile de France is stunning. In fact, I feel slightly in love with her after seeing this.

Highly recommended. It is my hope that many GLBT folks worldwide will watch this, especially my sapphic sisters, even if they are less-than-comfortable with watching a foreign film with subtitles. See this! A magnificent gem of a film.


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