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Lourdes [DVD]

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Sylvie Testud, Léa Seydoux, Bruno Todeschini, Elina Löwensohn, Gerhard Liebmann
  • Directors: Jessica Hausner
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French, German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Artifical Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 12 July 2010
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003GALGC2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,244 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Jessica Hausner's (Lovely Rita, Hotel) third feature tells the story of a pilgrimage to Lourdes. Among the pilgrims are sufferers of various illnesses as well as others in good health. They undertake the journey in hope of finding spiritual comfort or bodily cure. Sylvie Testud (La Vie en Rose) takes the central role of Christine, a multiple sclerosis sufferer and religious sceptic, who travels more for companionship than in hope of a miracle. But as the trip develops, her lack of faith is tested with the hope of a new life, whilst, around her, the affectations and jealousies of the assorted entourage of religious officials and fellow sufferers are being exposed.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 May 2010
Format: Blu-ray
There's a certain ambiguity to the questions raised in Lourdes by Austrian director Jessica Hausner, but it's that not Lourdes is too respectful of its subject or wary of causing offense to believers. Rather, the film seems to be attempting to look objectively at the kind of people who go there on a pilgrimage looking for healing and even the possibility of a miracle, while for some it may be enough to just give them the strength and the faith to struggle on, the film attempting in the process to reconcile questions of faith with the realities of human nature and illness.

The film finds some degree of scepticism, objectivity, or perhaps simply humanity in the figure of Christine (Sylvie Testud), a young woman suffering from multiple sclerosis, pretty much paralysed from the neck down and confined to a wheelchair, who hasn't come to Lourdes with a group of pilgrims in expectation of a miracle, as much as using it as an opportunity - one of the few available to her, and one she has taken advantage of in the past to go to other holy sites in Europe - to get out and about and meet people. One might think that there would be enough people of a likeminded nature on these trips, but Christine doesn't get the opportunity to speak to many of them and share details of their suffering or their hopes for a cure. It's not so much that Christine's condition doesn't give her much freedom to meet anyone other than the carers from the volunteer nurses looking after her needs, as much the fact that everyone, Christine included, seems to be wrapped up in their own little world of quiet suffering and contemplation, concerned with their own hopes for a cure and fears of it being someone less deserving than themselves who experiences the longed-for miracle.
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Format: DVD
This film is probably quite disturbing to anyone who watches it (that is, whatever their beliefs may be about the miraculous, or about Lourdes in particular). A young woman goes to Lourdes. She is sceptical, suffering from Multiple sclerosis, lonely, observant, and wanting what other young women of her age want from life. Since she is in a wheelchair, she has 'carers' or escorts, who wheel her around, but these escorts are young people who have their own preoccupations. They chat and flirt as though she is not there (after all she is literally on a 'different level' from them). The escorts' behaviour both dehumanises this young woman, and at the same time stirs her wish to participate in these normailities of life. Despite her emotional detachment and her pain at being ignored, she is aroused to hope that perhaps ... just perhaps ... she might be one of those rare Lourdes visitors who is healed. Then the film takes one of its many unexpected and disturbing turns. These turns can seem sequentially to confirm secular scepticism and then to confirm faithful hope, and then to give comfort to neither. Ultimately, and speaking for myself, the film carried this lesson, that if our role is to care for other people (whether in a caring profession or as a volunteer), this means taking the people we care for seriously. It does not mean treating them as though they were background scenery or lacking in hopes, fears and the need for human engagement. The supernatural backdrop to this film (such as it is) is not therefore its main theme. This is a human story and a painful object lesson.
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I have been eagerly looking forward to watching this film after reading different points of view about it.

For me I was captivated by it.

Lourdes is very special to me as I have been there on a number of occasions with a friend who is disabled and requires the energy of a companionion to wheel him around (pushing a wheelchair round Lourdes is a great way to get fit!)

Lourdes has that special way of making even the most devout person become very sociable with others after the duties of the day are done, only those who experience Lourdes can understand this, so watching the film I could understand the young carers and helpers in their at times "over the top excitabilities" though many who go to Lourdes in a caring role may question their priorities after watching the film.

The film had a wonderful way of little things making it very watchable, such as Christine's red hat being visible in the crowds and the silences in scenes (Christine enjoying an ice cream sundae, and the wonderful scene in the party after she was left standing with her room companion come to mind.

These scene silences speak amazingly to the watcher, much more than if many words had been spoken, especially if one looks deep into Christines facial expressions.

Great acting all along by Sylvie Testud and Lea Seydoux who plays a very proffesional but cold head of pilgrim care, and to all who made the story a complete delight.

The only question I would ask the director is "where on earth did you find that singer" but he had a great voice (whatever he was singing about) and I think he was quite cool, (and has the same hair style that I have!)

Jessica Hausner (the director) many thanks for this very touching, thought provoking and beautiful cinematic miracle.
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