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The extras in the film really were pilgrims to Lourdes. See more »
O sacrum convivium
Interprète: Frédéric Dupuy
Orgue: Jean-Paul Lecot
Chef de choeur : Antoine Penet
Avec l'aimable autorisation de Monsieur Frédéric Dupuy, chef de choeur et chantre des Sanctuaires Notre-Dame de Lourdes See more »
I am Roman Catholic. Lourdes is a blessed, mystical place. I hear. The story goes, the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette in a grotto near Lourdes several times. Word spread, a shrine was built, miracles occurred, all in this small community in the south of France. Now, millions travel to Lourdes every year, looking for intervention from St. Bernadette and the Blessed Mother. While I've never been there, I have been to shrines, like Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount-Royal in Montreal. The relics for sale and presence of the pilgrims are a little scary, but there was no denying the power of the place. So, I was very interested to see a pilgrimage from the perspective of a pilgrim in Lourdes, a movie playing at the Cleveland International Film Festival, this week. Christine is a young woman from France who has multiple sclerosis. She's lost control of her body from the neck down. But, her mind is vibrant, she seems to accept the help of nurse volunteers at Lourdes with a pleasant demeanor. She tells a priest, in confession, that she gets angry over her diagnosis and feels envious of able bodied people, like a nurse who is flirting with a man on the trip that she fancies. This is like a group tour, with a different activity each day: a hike through the grotto, a bath in the water, even an award at the end of the trip for the "Best Pilgrim." Christine's mother is with her on the trip. Their relationship is one of the things that bothered me in the movie. While her mother accepts the role of caregiver, they barely talk or interact, except in a very distant fashion. I didn't get that. A couple of the older volunteers hang together at night and discuss deep topics of faith and spirituality. Juxtapose that with Christine confessing to her nurse that she is not really a believer, she just goes on the pilgrimages because she can't really get out of the house for much else. When the inevitable miracle occurs, within the group, some are jealous, others are skeptical, others just wonder why some are chosen and others are not. Lourdes is a very quiet, very slow moving film. I guess I was hoping for more of an epiphany, but at the end, I wasn't at all sure what I was supposed to take away from it. I was interested but not satisfied. I give Lourdes a 7 out of 10.
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