The Innocents

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France | 2016 | 115 minutes | Anne Fontaine

July 29 - August 11, 2016

SIFF Cinema Uptown | Ends Thu Aug 11
From acclaimed French filmmaker Anne Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel, Gemma Bovery) comes this deeply moving drama set in Poland at the end of World War II, where a young French Red Cross doctor discovers an order of Benedictine nuns facing an unprecedented crisis of faith as their belief and traditions clash with harsh realities.

Poland, December 1945: World War II is finally over and Red Cross nurse Mathilde is treating the last of the French survivors of the German camps. When a panicked nun appears at the clinic one night begging Mathilde to follow her back to the convent, what she finds there is shocking: a holy sister about to give birth and several more in advanced stages of pregnancy. A non-believer, Mathilde enters the sisters’ fiercely private world, dictated by the rituals of their order and the strict Rev. Mother (Agata Kulesza, Ida).

"Leaves us with a fresh understanding of our capacity to respond to suffering with good or evil, and to find new definitions of grace and vocation." - Justin Chang, Variety

"A story of survival and rebuilding from ruins. Theirs is a history worth remembering." - Monica Castillo,

"A moving drama about the struggle to keep one’s faith in the most difficult of situations...a compelling deconstruction of how to cope and rebuild." - Jordan Raup, The Film Stage

"A near perfect film with restrained, yet powerful, performances, direction that allows the narrative to unfold in truly revelatory ways, surprising humor, and cinematography that begs translation into still photography." - J. Ryan Parker,

  • Director: Anne Fontaine
  • Principal Cast: Lou de Laâge, Agata Kulesza, Agata Buzek, Joanna Kulig, Vincent Macaigne
  • Country: France, Poland
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 115 minutes
  • Language: French, Polish, and Russian