Dir: Anne Fontaine
Starring: Lou de Laâge, Agat Kulesza, Vincent Macaigne
This quietly powerful film, dealing with a particular aspect of Poland’s tragic wartime experience, bears comparison to the Oscar winning “Ida”. Young doctor Mathilde, from a French Red Cross unit stationed in rural Poland shortly after the end of World War 2, receives an urgent and desperate request for help from a young nun. On arriving at the convent Mathilde finds one of the sisters in labour and she delivers her baby, sworn to secrecy by the Reverend Mother. The full truth is even more disturbing, as Mathilde learns that the convent had been raided by Soviet soldiers and that many more of the sisters are in an advanced state of pregnancy. The practical dilemma of this situation and the spiritual crisis it provokes are sensitively portrayed in a film that is inevitably sad, but also full of hope and ultimately positive.