Lourdes


1h 39m 2009
Lourdes

Brief Synopsis

Christine has been confined to a wheelchair for most of her life. In order to escape her isolation, she makes a journey to Lourdes, the iconic site of pilgrimage in the Pyrenees Mountains. She wakes up one morning seemingly cured by a miracle. The leader of the pilgrimage group, a handsome 40 year-o

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
2009
Production Company
Alta Films; Cines Unidos; Coop99 Filmproduktion; Gussi Films; Istituto Luce-Cinecitta; Lumière Publishing; Tfm Distribution; Xenix Filmdistribution
Distribution Company
Palisades Tartan; Benelux Film Distributors; Camera Film; Curzon Artificial Eye; Empire; Eye International; Fidalgo; Folkets Bio; Gutek Film Sp. Z O.O.; NFP Marketing & Distribution; Paramount Pictures International (PPI); Sophie Dulac Productions; Stadtkino Filmverleih; Transmission Films; Xenix Filmdistribution

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 39m

Synopsis

Christine has been confined to a wheelchair for most of her life. In order to escape her isolation, she makes a journey to Lourdes, the iconic site of pilgrimage in the Pyrenees Mountains. She wakes up one morning seemingly cured by a miracle. The leader of the pilgrimage group, a handsome 40 year-old volunteer from the Order of Malta, begins to take an interest in her. She tries to hold on to this newfound chance for happiness while her cure provokes envy and admiration.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
2009
Production Company
Alta Films; Cines Unidos; Coop99 Filmproduktion; Gussi Films; Istituto Luce-Cinecitta; Lumière Publishing; Tfm Distribution; Xenix Filmdistribution
Distribution Company
Palisades Tartan; Benelux Film Distributors; Camera Film; Curzon Artificial Eye; Empire; Eye International; Fidalgo; Folkets Bio; Gutek Film Sp. Z O.O.; NFP Marketing & Distribution; Paramount Pictures International (PPI); Sophie Dulac Productions; Stadtkino Filmverleih; Transmission Films; Xenix Filmdistribution

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 39m

Articles

Lourdes


Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner offers a metaphysical exploration on the concept of miracles with her brilliant film Lourdes (2009). Set in the Pyrenees Mountains, the film follows a group of sick and disabled patients on their pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes where they perform various rituals in hopes of a miracle. The film stars French actress Sylvie Testud as Christine, a woman in the advanced stages of multiple sclerosis. Although Christine isn’t particularly religious, she is the only one in her group to be miraculously healed, which causes the other more pious pilgrims to question their purpose there. Through a specific story about the intersection between medicine and religion, Hausner offers a universal tale of self-realization, the unfairness of life and the correlation, or lack thereof, between behavior and consequence.

Hausner studied at the Filmacademy in Vienna and worked as an assistant director, producer, story editor and writer before she began directing feature films with her debut Lovely Rita (2001). Hausner’s films often feature characters in some form of existential crisis or on a journey of self-discovery, especially outcasts or misfits who question their place in the world. For Lourdes, Hausner was inspired by an idea that came to her of “a miracle that might not be one.” She spent three years researching religious miracles and went on several pilgrimages herself. At one point, Hausner dropped the project because she worried that she was making a depressing film that even she wouldn’t want to watch. Hausner reconfigured her story to focus on the ambivalence of miracles while adding some subtle black humor to the story. In an interview she said, “all the humor in my films comes from a basic understanding of the human condition.” The film was shot on location at the holy site in Lourdes in agreement with the sanctuary, although the bath scenes were filmed on a studio set.

Lourdes premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September 2009 and went on to win the Brian Award and the FIPRESCI Prize. Hausner’s film had a successful run on the festival circuit where it received various awards, including three at the Vienna Film Festival and a European Film Award for Best Actress for Sylvie Testud, as well as critical acclaim. Manohla Dargos of The New York Times called Lourdes an “intelligent, rigorously thoughtful, somewhat sly film”. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian wrote “Hausner’s sheer, exhilarating technique and intelligence, [is] like that of a superb musician.” Lourdes offered then up-and-coming actress Lea Seydoux, her first major role. Upon the success of Lourdes, Jessica Hausner continues to be a driving force in the Austrian New Wave of filmmaking.

by Raquel Stecher

Lourdes

Lourdes

Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner offers a metaphysical exploration on the concept of miracles with her brilliant film Lourdes (2009). Set in the Pyrenees Mountains, the film follows a group of sick and disabled patients on their pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes where they perform various rituals in hopes of a miracle. The film stars French actress Sylvie Testud as Christine, a woman in the advanced stages of multiple sclerosis. Although Christine isn’t particularly religious, she is the only one in her group to be miraculously healed, which causes the other more pious pilgrims to question their purpose there. Through a specific story about the intersection between medicine and religion, Hausner offers a universal tale of self-realization, the unfairness of life and the correlation, or lack thereof, between behavior and consequence.Hausner studied at the Filmacademy in Vienna and worked as an assistant director, producer, story editor and writer before she began directing feature films with her debut Lovely Rita (2001). Hausner’s films often feature characters in some form of existential crisis or on a journey of self-discovery, especially outcasts or misfits who question their place in the world. For Lourdes, Hausner was inspired by an idea that came to her of “a miracle that might not be one.” She spent three years researching religious miracles and went on several pilgrimages herself. At one point, Hausner dropped the project because she worried that she was making a depressing film that even she wouldn’t want to watch. Hausner reconfigured her story to focus on the ambivalence of miracles while adding some subtle black humor to the story. In an interview she said, “all the humor in my films comes from a basic understanding of the human condition.” The film was shot on location at the holy site in Lourdes in agreement with the sanctuary, although the bath scenes were filmed on a studio set.Lourdes premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September 2009 and went on to win the Brian Award and the FIPRESCI Prize. Hausner’s film had a successful run on the festival circuit where it received various awards, including three at the Vienna Film Festival and a European Film Award for Best Actress for Sylvie Testud, as well as critical acclaim. Manohla Dargos of The New York Times called Lourdes an “intelligent, rigorously thoughtful, somewhat sly film”. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian wrote “Hausner’s sheer, exhilarating technique and intelligence, [is] like that of a superb musician.” Lourdes offered then up-and-coming actress Lea Seydoux, her first major role. Upon the success of Lourdes, Jessica Hausner continues to be a driving force in the Austrian New Wave of filmmaking.by Raquel Stecher

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Winner of four awards including the FIPRESCI Award for Best Film Venezia 66, the SIGNIS Award, the La Navicella Venezia Cinema Award and the Brian Award at the 2009 Venice International Film Festival.

Released in United States Winter February 17, 2010

Released in United States September 2009

Released in United States October 2009

Released in United States 2010

Released in United States January 2010

Released in United States February 2010

Shown at Venice International Film Festival (Competition) September 2-12, 2009.

Shown at London Film Festival (Cinema Europa) October 14-29, 2009.

Shown at Pusan International Film Festival (World Cinema) October 8-16, 2009.

Shown at Rotterdam International Film Festival (Spectrum) January 27-February 7, 2010.

Shown at San Francisco International Film Festival (World Cinema) April 22-May 6, 2010.

Released in United States October 2009 (Shown at Pusan International Film Festival (World Cinema) October 8-16, 2009.)

Shown at Santa Barbara International Film Festival (International Features) February 4-14, 2010.

Released in United States Winter February 17, 2010

Released in United States September 2009 (Shown at Venice International Film Festival (Competition) September 2-12, 2009.)

Released in United States October 2009 (Shown at London Film Festival (Cinema Europa) October 14-29, 2009.)

Released in United States 2010 (Shown at Rotterdam International Film Festival (Spectrum) January 27-February 7, 2010.)

Released in United States 2010 (Shown at San Francisco International Film Festival (World Cinema) April 22-May 6, 2010. )

Released in United States January 2010 (Shown at Sundance Film Festival (Spotlight: Narrative) January 21-31, 2010.)

Released in United States February 2010 (Shown at Santa Barbara International Film Festival (International Features) February 4-14, 2010.)