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The Innocents is a powerful, brave film that will stay with you for days Add to ...

  • Directed by Anne Fontaine
  • Written by Anne Fontaine, Pascal Bonitzer, Sabrina B. Karine and Alice Vial
  • Starring Lou de Laage, Agata Buzek
  • Classification PG
  • Country USA
  • Language English

The Innocents begins quietly, before devolving into unspeakable horrors. The heartbreaking film follows Mathilde (Lou de Laâge), a young French Red Cross nurse in December 1945, as she discovers a group of nuns who have been raped by Soviet soldiers, and are now dealing with more than half a dozen pregnancies. The screenplay, which is based on true events chronicled in notes by Red Cross doctor Madeleine Pauliac, handles the delicate story with care. The already gut-wrenching plot is only improved by the soundtrack – often comprised of the nuns singing morning prayers – and the cinematography is stunning, with beautiful muted shots of Polish landscapes and their war-ravaged occupants. Most critically, director Anne Fontaine delicately handles the impossible choices Mathilde and the nuns face and the moral issues, including holding onto one’s faith following senseless acts, they repeatedly come up against. The Innocents is a powerful, brave film that will stay with you for days. (PG) Ellen Brait

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