Lourdes (2009)


Lourdes – Jessica Hausner

Summary:  Multiple sclerosis sufferer, Christine, is bound to a wheelchair due to her illness and has no control from her neck down.  So in hopes for a miracle, she takes up a pilgrimage to Loudres, in the Pyrenees Mountains, with an organised tourist group which many of whom also face medical struggles and are in search of a miraculous bodily cure.  She admits she is not religious and only joins pilgrimages to travel, which is questionable when she then confesses to a priest she is angry about her illness and envious over able bodied people.  When questioned by members of the tourist group, priests and other religious volunteers try to explain that one’s soul must be cleansed in order to be healed by a miracle and which may not necessarily mean a cure of their illnesses itself.  This seems to disappoint and dampen the group’s spirits as they want a physical cure.   So when a member of the group does seem to be cured from their illness, they become jealous, then skeptical.  People’s faith is tested and the question of who should be worth of a miracle is asked.

My Review: The main character Christine, played by Sylvie Testud, doesn’t express her emotions of anguish, jealousy or sorrow over her illness and instead seems to accept it and the help she requires because of it.  In spite of this, I still felt a strong urge for Christine to be healed from her disease, which rose greatly in particular scenes where she is unable to physically move for herself.  The second half of the film I was not expecting and of course I give away no spoilers so I cannot go into too much detail about it.  This film is perfectly paced for its narrative and incredibly moving, without being too cliche, it manages to express a true yearning for something we may all take for granted.

Rating:  2.5/5

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