The Innocents is a film written by Sabrina B Karine, Pascal Bonitzer, Anne Fontaine (also its director) and Alice Vial, based on real events from history. The setting is a wintry Poland, where the end of World War II is fast approaching, and Mathilde Beaulieu (Lou de Laâge), a French doctor with the Red Cross, becomes tasked with aiding a group of impregnated nuns after they are raped by Soviet soldiers.
It is a movie with a curious if not unique premise. The audience sees the nuns uniquely accept their new realities – who despite their seeming uniformity, differ radically. The actions of certain characters like Sister Zofia and Mother Superior are tragic and absolutely saddening. It is a fine and delicate story that is able to induce both laughter and tears.
A most satisfying source of comic relief in The Innocents is Samuel (Vincent Macaigne), a doctor and Mathilde’s superior with whom she is romantically involved. A caring man who is genuinely fond of Mathilde, he is also a Jew who often appropriates self-deprecatory humour. The exchanges between Mathilde and Samuel are witty, as Macaigne portrays him with utter candor and de Laâge’s performance is charmingly solemn.
There is unstoppable intrigue throughout the movie and the tale is so captivating that your attention cannot possibly falter. The cinematography in The Innocents is likewise pleasing, but traditional of those films that are set in WWII, with an often sombre and murky palette and a keen and decisive use of soft lighting.
The Innocents is a delicate, comely drama that can sustain purity and hope even when its story begins so tragically.
The Innocents is released nationwide on 11th November 2016.
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Watch the trailer for The Innocents here: