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.
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.
You know, faith. At first, We're like a child that his father holds by his hand, who feels safe. A moment comes and I think he always comes where the father will let you go. We're lost, alone in the dark. We call, nobody answers. We're getting ready, we're surprised. We're hit in the heart. That's the cross. Behind all joy, there is the cross.
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From the director Anne Fontaine. Like any of her works, this is another top class women oriented film. But it was partially based on the incredible true story. Partial means, no one knows what was the actual event. The director and her writers inspired by the diary the French doctor who worked for Red Cross in Poland at the end of the World War II, who wrote down her experience on it. So, with the small-small facts the story was built on for the film. Well done job by the cast and crew.
Whenever you hear the word/abbreviation 'WWII', it always bound with nazi Germans. Since this tale takes place just after the war, when the Soviet took over the Poland from them, it is set to reveal one of the extremely hidden secrets. Just imagine how secret it is, like you have read many books and have seen many films regarding the WWII, but you have never heard about this, until now. It is a heart rending tale, but the thing is everything's about the aftermath, how they handled their state of condition.
Mathilde, the French doctor is fetched by a nun from the nearby convent is shocked when she reached there to see most of them are in the final stage of their pregnancy. They were sexually abused by the Soviet soldiers, but now she as to keep it quiet as requested by the mother superior. She's being an atheist and to whom she's treating, the believers, is exactly the opposite kind. But not just her, the nuns as well put aside their differences to overcome their situation.
❝For us nuns, the end of the war does not mean the end of fear.❞
It's right on the coldest winter, does not tell about the original violence, but there's still a few incidents about the army atrocities, how they treated innocent nuns, even the Red Cross members. But remember nothing was the actual depiction. It would have been even better if it was a documentary film. Doing some research and telling us the tale, reading exactly as what was written in the diary. But the film was not bad, except the scene to scene, event to event it was very slow to move, except right on the point.
The story has a twist, but it was not like very powerful. It depends on how you would consider it. Because for me, I felt it was too cruel, hard to take on. The story about church people means, you would expect a gentle kind. Or even in such situation, as in this film, to react as much as possibly generously as what they're known for. But in the first place, it was no ones fault. They all fighting for the same reason, especially keeping the outside world in mind, each one reacted differently. So it is understandable, but not all the acts were respectable.
As the director said in her interview, this is a period film, but pretty much the same in the contemporary world where war is on. The violence against the innocent women. So it is a debatable topic. And if it was directed by some male filmmaker, he might have risked with the violences in the flashback scenes to bring more depth in the narration. The present film is kind of compromises on that, but still not easy to watch everything it shows. Particularly for the families. Great performances by all. One of the best films on this theme and of the year. The film is not to be ignored. Despite not about the war, but just like 'Under Sandet', about the following event.
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