In Lourdes, written and directed by Jessica Hausner, wheelchair-bound Christine, hoping for a miraculous cure of her multiple sclerosis, becomes the target of envy, doubt, and derision among her fellow travelers to the eponymous religious-pilgrimage site in southwestern France at the foothills of the Pyrenees. Hausner, one of the most gifted young filmmakers to emerge from Europe in recent years, has no interest in glib pronouncements, and Lourdes neither condemns religious faith nor wholly embraces it. Instead, the film—particularly after Christine appears to have been “cured” of her affliction—asks more questions than it answers, leaving us with the uneasy sense that the divine is ultimately better understood as the arbitrary or the coincidental. As we watch Christine’s limbs slowly reanimate, the moment is indeed transcendent. But is this merely a temporary remission of her illness? Is Christine blessed, just lucky, or neither? Hausner refuses to cynically dismiss as trumped-up magical thinking the possibility that miracles can happen. But nor does she underestimate the simmering rage of those who feel entitled to God’s grace.

“Winking at the absurdity of miracle hunting without fully undercutting its seriousness, Lourdes ultimately eschews rigorous religious inquiry to study the mechanics of envy and frustrated desire.”
Karina Longworth, The Village Voice

Jessica Hausner

Jessica Hausner

Christine: Sylvie Testud
Kuno: Bruno Todeschini
Maria: Léa Seydoux
Cécile: Elina Löwensohn
Pater Nigl: Gerhard Liebmann
Frau Huber: Linda Prelog
Herr Olivetti: Hubsi Kramer

PRODUCTION Austria, France, Germany, 2009
RATING Not Rated
FORMAT(S) 35mm, Digibeta, DVD

*Please note new distributor: Kino Lorber EDU