Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lourdes - Directed by Jessica Hausener

A thought provoking film which manages to strike the difficult balance between being over respectful on the one hand and over pious on the other.

The acting especially by Sylvie Testud who was the main character Christine was excellent. I liked the way in which some of the Lourdes landmarks were filmed - the high stations of the cross for instance but felt that others such as the grotto were a little staged. The underground basilica looks better in reality than on the film. The street scenes were good however but why no real scene at the taps?

The question that hung brilliantly over the latter part of the film and which was thankfully not answered was whether Christine who was suffering from MS had been cured of that physical affliction. Whilst pondering over that aspect the ways in others in her pilgrimage group reacted to the possiblity of cure was fascinating. For a while she could even dance and attracted the attentions of one of the more handsome helpers. Yet later when doubts set in he was off apparently.

From a catholic point of view I felt that some ways in which the group's chaplain was depicted was a little too pre Vatican II but then maybe the organisers of a Knights of Malta pilgrimage group would tend to the conservative side of the church. The absence of children (HCPT Easter Groups are very child focused) gave a somewhat quieter atmosphere to Lourdes and its pilgrims on the film than would be experienced when there are crowds of young people present.

It was good to meet another HCPT Group 35 and briefly discuss the film with her as she was leaving Wimbledon's HMV Curzon as we were entering. Her main criticism was that the pace of the film was slow. I disagree with her as the slow pace was part of the attraction and gave (me anyway) time for reflection as the scenes developed.

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