- 26 Mar 10
The film disappears like a religious apparition, leaving us alone with our own beliefs.
Director Jessica Hausner was granted extraordinary access to the sacred sites associated with the plastic Marion flea market of the title. By golly, she knows what to do with them. Shot in documentary style with a touch of Hitchcock in the zoom, Lourdes is a compellingly gorgeous film. Acts of pilgrimage and care are wrought exquisitely into Ozu-inspired ceremonies with ambiguous meanings. Atheists will marvel at the anthropological details; believers will watch as an act of devotion. Lourdes is a film that swings both ways.
Where exactly is the film coming from? Are we to believe that the film’s heroine Christine (Sylvie Testud) will throw off the confines of her wheelchair and multiple sclerosis if she can just keep faith with the miraculous healing powers of the French Pyrenees? Should we be listening to the priests, the carers, the serial pilgrims or the cynics? Or is it all just a handy metaphor for cinema itself?
The film disappears like a religious apparition before we’ve found out for sure, leaving us alone with our own beliefs.