Though set entirely within the iconic site of Catholic pilgrimage, Jessica Hausner's unsettling drama refuses to take sides on the meaning – or even the existence – of miracles.
Sylvie Testud plays Christine, wheelchair-bound from MS and visiting Lourdes in no apparent hope of being "cured" – her faith isn't especially strong, and she notes a general air of scepticism around the reliability of healing in any case. Yet when the unimaginable does happen – Ave Maria! – it divides the other pilgrims between righteousness ("God has not forsaken us") and resentment ("She doesn't seem very pious, our miracle girl"), observed by Hausner's camera in a spirit of beady neutrality. The remarkable coup of her film is that it can be taken either as a testament to the power of faith or as a subtle undermining of it: the ambiguity of viewpoint is beautifully modulated.
Arts & Ents blogs
There is a good many moments in the second episode of this psychological thriller that deserve refle...
The opening titles squeal ‘Never Can Say Goodbye…’. Oh Lord how I wish I could heave this series off...
Even though there was a complete absence of our favourite odd couple Brienne and Jaime, we got anoth...
- 1 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Bloody attack brings terror to capital’s streets
- 2 Mothers' diets may harm IQs in two-thirds of babies
- 3 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 4 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 5 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.