Writer-director Anne Fontaine (Adore, Coco Before Chanel) delivers her best film yet with this haunting story about a Polish convent in 1945, dealing with the savage after effects of WWII.
Lou de Laage is Mathilde, a French Red Cross doc who is taking care of German concentration camp survivors. When a nun comes begging for help with a dying friend, Mathilde discovers that the nun’s convent has many pregnant nuns. They’re in this state after Russian soldiers took advantage of them, and now they are dealing with spiritual and physical repercussions of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.
The movie addresses many issues involving religion and faith, and goes down some very dark and disturbing paths. Even so, there’s a distinct hope and joy at the film’s core, and the results are often far from bleak. The performances, especially Laage’s, are excellent.
Fontaine’s film looks and feels authentic, thanks to wonderful cinematography and costuming. The movie will stick in your craw long after you see it.