Fourteen-year-old Maria is a fundamentalist Catholic, living her life in a modern fashion, yet her heart belongs to Jesus. She wants to be a saint and go to heaven. No one, not even a nice boy she meets, can stop her in this goal.
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Hope Dickson Leach
Maria is 14 years old. Her family is part of a fundamentalist Catholic community. Maria lives her everyday life in the modern world, yet her heart belongs to Jesus. She wants to follow him, to become a saint and go to heaven - just like all those holy children she's always been told about. So Maria goes through 14 stations, just like Jesus did on his path to Golgatha, and reaches her goal in the end. Not even Christian, a boy she meets at school, can stop her, even if in another world, they might have become friends, or even more. Left behind is a broken family that finds comfort in faith, and the question if all these events were really so inevitable. STATIONS OF THE CROSS is an indictment and, at the same time, the legend of a saint. It's a story of religion, devotion and radical faith, and the film itself comes along just as radical as the subject matter, telling the story in only 14 fixed-angle long shots, allowing the viewer to contemplate the interactions on screen in an ...Written by
German Films Quarterly 1/2014
Terrific, terrifying study of German Catholic conservatism
Many will avoid this film for religious reasons, which would be a shame, because in the end it is not so much about religion (in this case, conservative Catholics in Germany) as childhood, innocence and idealism, and the psychopathology of mental cruelty. Maria is a devout Catholic awaiting confirmation and like many young adolescents, deeply idealistic and principled. This would be fine but she has a cruel, controlling mother (whose motivation is shockingly revealed at the end), and the combination is deadly. It is engrossing and heartbreaking and not completely implausible. One wonders whether the director is being autobiographical but it will be a revelation to many that Catholic orthodoxy of this kind still prevails in parts of rural Germany. The film's other triumph is that it never judges, only observes, so there is nothing to offend a conservative Catholic here. That won't stop anti-Christian elements seeing the film as a denunication of religion, of course.
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