The Rehoboth Beach Film Society’s Cinema Art Theater will present THE INNOCENTS a drama lightly based on real life events at the end of World War II, starring Lou de Laage, Vincent Macaigne, Agata Kulesza and Agata Buzek.
The setting is Warsaw Poland, December 1945. Mathilde, a physician with the French Red Cross, is treating the last of the French survivors of the German camps. In a nearby nunnery the normal prayers and chants are interrupted by the piercing scream of someone in childbirth. One of the Benedictine nuns disobeys the Mother Superior and runs to the nearby medical encampment where she convinces a reluctant Mathilde to come and help. Mathilde discovers a resident novice who is about to give birth, and others who are in advanced stages of pregnancy. The pregnancies are a great source of shame in the eyes of the strict Reverend Mother who will only allow Mathilde to assist with deliveries and after-care if she agrees to secrecy.
Many of the nuns brought up since childhood in the convent have little idea what is happening to them. The Reverend Mother fears the disgrace that should befall them if exposed, and the hostility of the new anti-Catholic Communist Russian government. Facing an unprecedented crisis of faith, the nuns increasingly turn to Mathilde as their belief and traditions clash with harsh realities.
The film directed by Anne Fontaine is a French-Polish-Belgian co-production that was supported by the Polish Film Institute and the Film Commission Poland. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2016.
“The Washington Times” critic Eric Althoff says “Films like “THE INNOCENTS,” which is so rich in substance, moral complexities and clashes of faiths and rectitude, are a rarity, and should be rightly celebrated. That it also features first-rate performances and direction only adds to its value as the best film of 2016.”
Colin Covert of the “Minneapolis Star Tribune” says, “starring directed, filmed and written by women, balancing agnostic intelligence and respect, this is one of the most compelling films about war in years.” [2016, France/Poland/Russia Runtime: 115 min., English subtitles, Rated PG]
Screening times are 4:00 pm on Friday – Sunday (Aug 12-14), 4:00 pm Wednesday (Aug 17), and 7:00 pm on Thursday (Aug 18). Tickets can be purchased at the Cinema Art Theater, starting 30 minutes prior to each screening. Admission for a screening is $8 for RBFS members and $10 for future members. All screenings are hedl at the Cinema Art Theater located at 17701 Dartmouth Drive in Dartmouth Plaza, behind the Lewes Wawa.