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Lourdes

Jessica Hausner
Austria, France, Germany 2009 / 99’

Wheelchair-bound Christine (played by Sylvie Testud, who captured a European Film Award for her performance) suffers from multiple sclerosis. In search of hope and adventure, she goes on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, where, by all accounts, miracles of healing have been known to occur at the Sanctuary of Our Lady. Regardless of whether such a miracle awaits her, she can at least overcome her isolation in the company of other pilgrims, including a flirtatious soldier and a woman named Maria (Léa Seydoux), who looks after her. Suddenly, in the fairy-tale scenery of the Pyrenees, Christine starts to walk. But will this miracle have a lasting effect? And how will this be interpreted by the priests, the faithful, and the doctors who surround her, commenting like a Greek chorus on her return to health? Hausner does not judge the rationale or the faith of her protagonists, nor does she necessarily agree with them, nor does she make fun of them. She simply observes them closely and cheers them on. With its intelligent and balanced portrayal of pilgrims and thoughtful, poetic cinematography by Martin Gschlacht, Lourdes enchanted audiences at international festivals from Venice to Warsaw.

Adam Kruk

awards

Venice IFF 2009 – FIPRESCI Prize; Warsaw IFF 2009 – Grand Prix; Vienna IFF 2009 - Best Film; European Film Awards 2010 – Best Actress

Jessica Hausner

An Austrian director and screenwriter, Jessica Hausner is the daughter of the Viennese realist painter Rudolf Hausner and the half-sister of set designer and painter Xenia Hausner. She has been running the coop99 production company since 1999 along with Barbara Albert, Antonin Svoboda, and Martin Gschlacht. She made her directorial debut in 2001 with the full-length feature Lovely Rita, a portrait of a young girl trapped in a complex web of family relations. The film earned her not only the attention of audiences and the film community but also a nomination for a Prix Fassbinder, the European Film Academy's prize for the discovery of the year. Her subsequent films premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the Festival in Cannes (Mad Love, two years ago, about an affair between Heinrich von Kleist and Henrietta Vogel). In 2016, Hausner became a member of the jury for that same section of the festival. Her most successful work remains Lourdes (2009), which was an award winner at festivals in Venice (FIPRESCI, SIGNIS, and a Sergio Trasatti Award), Warsaw, and during the LUX Awards, and Sweden's Guldbagge Awards. One of the distinguishing features of Hausner's films is the extraordinary care that is put into the composition of each frame (she works on a regular basis with cinematographer Martin Gschlacht), which adds precision to the development of her multilayered narratives.

Filmography

2001 Lovely Rita

2004 Hotel

2009 Lourdes

2014 Szalona miłość / Amour fou

Related articles

Official site

Cast & Crew

director Jessica Hausner
screenplay Jessica Hausner
cinematography Martin Gschlacht
editing Karina Ressler
cast Sylvie Testud, Léa Seydoux, Bruno Todeschini, Elina Löwensohn
producer Philippe Bober, Martin Gschlacht, Susanne Marian
production Coop 99, Essential Filmproduktion, Parisienne de Production, Thermidor Filmproduktion
Polish distributor Gutek Film
language French
colouration colour