Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lourdes (Rhoades)

Holy Pilgrimage To “Lourdes”
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

I’ve never been to Lourdes, but I once visited Fatima, the holy shrine located in Portugal. Like at Lourdes, the Virgin Mary was sighted there, marking it as a place of miracles. Thousands journey to this religious destination each year seeking cures. These prayerful pilgrims approach the cathedral on their knees.

The shrine has been commercialized. Shops sell effigies of the Blessed Virgin and colorful candles and fancy prayer books. I was tempted to order a McJesus at a local hamburger restaurant.

“Lourdes” tells a similar story, that of a crippled supplicant named Christine (played by Sylvie Testud) who travels to the iconic shrine in the Pyrenees Mountains seeking a miracle cure for her multiple sclerosis.

“Lourdes” is working its cinematic miracles this week at the Tropic.

While displaying empathy for the tenets of Catholicism, director Jessica Hauser does not hesitate to turn her eye (and lens) onto the circus-like trappings of Lourdes. Amid this “theme park of piety” atmosphere, we witness a miracle. But wondrous cures do not come to everyone. And so at heart of this documentary-like film is the question of “Why her and not me?”

However, if you’re waiting for an answer, “Lourdes” offers no epiphanies. The film leaves your degree of belief up to the strength of your own faith.
[from Solares Hill]

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