7.3/10
8,017
33 user 96 critic

The Innocents (2016)

Les innocentes (original title)
Trailer
2:05 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

1945. Mathilde is a French Red Cross doctor working on a mission to help the French survivors of the German camps. While she works in Poland, she is asked for help by a nun. In her convent, several nuns got pregnant.

Director:

Anne Fontaine

Writers:

Sabrina B. Karine (scenario), Alice Vial (scenario) | 3 more credits »
3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

WWII from Space (TV Movie 2012)
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The events of World War II from 1941 onward are depicted from the perspective of space.

Director: Simon George
Stars: Corey Johnson, Kevin Farrell, Geoffrey Wawro
Mustang (2015)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When five orphan girls are seen innocently playing with boys on a beach, their scandalized conservative guardians confine them while forced marriages are arranged.

Director: Deniz Gamze Ergüven
Stars: Günes Sensoy, Doga Zeynep Doguslu, Tugba Sunguroglu
The Swindlers (2017)
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Unlikely allies from different sides of the law must work together to achieve a common goal -- trapping the world's most legendary con man.

Director: Chang Won Jang
Stars: Hyun Bin, Ji-tae Yu, Seong-woo Bae
Ryde (2017)
Crime | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Technology brings us closer. Or perhaps it brings strangers, a little too close. But how much can you really trust someone? With a new ride share service, you never know who you'll be getting in a car with. Or if you'll ever get out.

Director: Brian Frank Visciglia
Stars: David Wachs, Jessica Serfaty, Ronnie Alvarez
The Innocents (TV Series 2018)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When teenagers Harry and June run away from their repressive families to be together, they're derailed by an extraordinary discovery - June's ability to shape-shift. A scientist tries to capture her and discover the key to her power.

Stars: Sorcha Groundsell, Percelle Ascott, Guy Pearce
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lou de Laâge ... Mathilde Beaulieu
Agata Buzek ... Maria
Agata Kulesza ... Mère Abesse
Vincent Macaigne ... Samuel
Joanna Kulig ... Irena
Eliza Rycembel ... Teresa
Katarzyna Dabrowska Katarzyna Dabrowska ... Anna
Anna Próchniak ... Zofia
Helena Sujecka ... Ludwika
Mira Maluszinska Mira Maluszinska ... Bibiana
Dorota Kuduk Dorota Kuduk ... Wanda
Klara Bielawka ... Joanna
Pascal Elso Pascal Elso ... Le colonel
Thomas Coumans Thomas Coumans ... Gaspard
Leon Latan-Paszek Leon Latan-Paszek ... Wladek
Edit

Storyline

Poland, winter of 1945. Mathilde Beaulieu (Lou de Lâage) is a young intern working with a branch of the French Red Cross. They are on a mission to find, treat and repatriate French survivors of the German camps. One day, a Polish nun arrives in the hospital. In very poor French, she begs Mathilde to come to her convent. Mathilde life and beliefs change when she discovers the advanced state of pregnancy that affect several of the Sisters of the convent just outside the hospital where she performs.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Anne Fontaine's finest film in years! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic material including sexual assault, and for some bloody images and brief suggestive content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

France | Poland

Language:

French | Polish | Russian

Release Date:

10 February 2016 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Innocents See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

€6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$127,112, 8 July 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,063,893, 2 October 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Anne Fontaine originally met with Agata Kulesza in Poland because she was an admirer of her work, but told her that she didn't wish to cast her as the Mother Superior since she thought her too sexy for the role. The actress laughed and asked the director if she could put on a veil and read an extract for a Polish work. Once she did, Fontaine decided to give her the part. See more »

Quotes

Maria: However much I pray, I cannot find any consolation. Every day, I relive what happened. Every day. I still smell the stench of them. They came back three times. Each time, they... They should have killed us. It's a miracle they didn't.
See more »

Soundtracks

Petite messe solennelle: XI. Preludio religioso
Composed by Gioachino Rossini
Performed by Ensemble vocal: Michel Piquemal, Michel Piquemal, Raymond Alessandrini, Emmanuel Mandrin, Françoise Pollet, Jacqueline Mayeur, Jean-Luc Viala
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A soulful essay about atrocities committed against nuns during war.
11 February 2017 | by CineMuseFilmsSee all my reviews

Most war films recount history as if women were never involved or their experiences not worth mentioning. That is just one of many reasons why The Innocents (2016) stands out in the war film genre: it is about, for, and made by women. The result is a soulful essay about atrocities committed against a group of nuns during the second world war, portrayed as a complex metaphorical struggle between religious faith, medical science, and evil.

The linear plot line is as austere as the film's narrative. We meet a serene and devout convent of Benedictine nuns in Poland who go about their daily prayer with quiet conviction and meticulous adherence to ritual. The serenity is shattered by the scream of a nun about to give birth. One nun fetches a French Red Cross medical intern Mathilde Beaulieu (Lou de Laáge) who sneaks out of the aid mission to help. She learns that Soviet soldiers had raped the nuns and several births were imminent. Mathilde is a non-believer yet is bewildered by the strength of the nun's faith and compelled to help. The nuns believe they are complicit in sin, and some are unable to even submit to medical examination while others do so with deep shame. The tension between sin and evil erupts when the baby is born and Mother Superior takes it out for fostering but instead leaves it in the forest. With more births coming, a convent full of babies cannot survive under Soviet occupation. It is Mathilde who finds an ingenious solution that ensures their survival.

Within this narrative arc, there are several strands that explore the nature and practice of faith by a group of women with varied backgrounds and different relationships with their god. Throughout the story, the tension between belief and logic creates a haunting presence. Young Mathilde struggles in a vortex of faith, science and evil, and comes to learn that there are no absolutes. The dystopia of war shatters all, yet faith survives in love and devotion to helping others. She grows emotionally with the experience just as the nun's learn tolerance of those who do not share their faith.

While the film has a strong cast of fine performers, it is Lou de Laage who shines brightly in a difficult role. She seamlessly traverses a wide emotional range from inspired awe to resolute determination to help, including restrained romantic explorations with a senior colleague. The portrait-like cinematography conveys the bleak landscape and convent solitude with a sympathetic lens that avoids despair. The film is a tribute not only to the violated nuns but to women of all nationalities mistreated at the hands of military forces. Rape in war continues in modern times, with many nations in denial and others struggling with unresolved shame. This is not an entertaining story, but a dark episode of history on which light has long been needed.


14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 33 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed