Lourdes (film)

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Lourdes poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed byJessica Hausner
Produced byPhilippe Bober
Martin Gschlacht
Susanne Marian
Written byJessica Hausner
StarringSylvie Testud
Léa Seydoux
Bruno Todeschini
Elina Löwensohn
CinematographyMartin Gschlacht
Edited byKarina Ressler
Distributed bySophie Dulac Distribution (France)
Release date
  • 5 September 2009 (2009-09-05) (Venice)
  • 11 September 2009 (2009-09-11) (Austria)
Running time
96 minutes
Budget$2 million
Box office$530.000[1]

Lourdes is a 2009 film directed by Jessica Hausner. It stars Sylvie Testud, Léa Seydoux, Bruno Todeschini and Elina Löwensohn. It received the 2009 Vienna International Film Festival's Vienna Film Prize for Best Film.[2]


Christine (Sylvie Testud) is a wheelchair-using woman with severe multiple sclerosis. Along with a group of other invalids of varying disabilities she makes a pilgrimage to the town of Lourdes. Christine is assigned a nun, Maria (Léa Seydoux) who acts as an aid for her and helps to feed and clothe her. Christine admits to Maria that she is not particularly religious but that she has been on several pilgrimages as it affords her the possibility of travelling.

Maria develops a crush on Kuno one of the guards assigned to care for the group. He is, in turn, attentive to Christine. When Maria notices this she abandons her duties and runs off leaving Maria in the care of her roommate who is more mobile than her. That day Christine is able to move her hand on her own.

As the group prepares to return home, the head nun Miss Cécile, abruptly collapses while preparing for the final party. The following day, when Maria comes into her room to dress her for the day she finds Christine already dressed.

The other members of the group are stunned by Christine's marked improvement and encourage her to have it officially recognized by the church. She is seen by a doctor who verifies that, while she still struggles to walk, her ability to do so is outside the realm of what can be explained scientifically and tells her her case will be moved to a committee who will determine whether it is a miracle or not.

Christine is able to attend the last day excursion, which Maria tries to block her from as it was a hike available to the most well members of their group. On the trip other members wonder why Christine was miraculously cured while other, more pious people were not. Christine is oblivious to this and spends some alone time with Kuno.

At the going away party Christine dances with Kuno and then collapses. Though Christine recovers others begin to doubt that she is cured. Standing on the sidelines she initially refuses to sit down. Eventually she reluctantly sits back in her wheelchair.


Critical response[edit]

"The remarkable coup of the film is that it can be taken either as a testament to the power of faith or as a subtle undermining of it." The Independent[3]

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.jpbox-office.com/fichfilm.php?id=12228
  2. ^ Hausner's Lourdes wins Viennale best film award. Screen daily.com, 4 November 2009.
  3. ^ Short review , FIVEBEST Films, The Independent, 19 April 2010
  4. ^ http://www.uaar.it/uaar/premio-uaar-venezia/2009/

External links[edit]