Poland, winter of 1945. Mathilde Beaulieu (Lou de Lâage) is a young intern working with a branch of the French Red Cross. They are on a mission to find, treat and repatriate French survivors of the German camps. One day, a Polish nun arrives in the hospital. In very poor French, she begs Mathilde to come to her convent. Mathilde life and beliefs change when she discovers the advanced state of pregnancy that affect several of the Sisters of the convent just outside the hospital where she performs.
Anne Fontaine originally met with Agata Kulesza in Poland because she was an admirer of her work, but told her that she didn't wish to cast her as the Mother Superior since she thought her too sexy for the role. The actress laughed and asked the director if she could put on a veil and read an extract for a Polish work. Once she did, Fontaine decided to give her the part. See more »
Dear Mathilde, the dark clouds have been hunted. We have here the sun in the sky. And you are in our hearts. Other wars may come. Other dangers threaten us, it will soon be difficult to write to us. But whatever our fate is, I feel ready to face it. I know, even if it makes you laugh, God sent you. Let him accompany you through the trials and that joy never misses you. Yours, Maria.
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One of the best movies of the year 2016, IMHO!!! Didn't get a lot of mention at Awards time, but certainly as important as a political comment on a true story as, say, Spotlight. The Russians have gotten an easy pass in the movie business, compared to the likes of Nazi Germany and Racist United States which have been turned every way but loose as far as getting raked over the coals by cinema.
This quiet little story of Russian soldiers raping Polish nuns balances that trend in movies. Set after the war in 1945 as the Russians take over Poland, but the French Red Cross is still there, it's a reminder that there are always a few good people in the midst of the thugs. May the young French actress Lou de Laage have a long and happy career. She certainly has a good start here.
Besides excellent acting and story telling, maybe it's the filming and mood created by this movie that makes it so good. You would think it painful to watch considering the subject, but it's not. Great shots of snowy, muddy roads and rambling old trucks offset by warm glow of music in a candle lit bar. Then the nuns, in a bleak cold stone refuge, yet in spite of their hardship, they are full of heart and life.
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