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The Innocents (2016, France/Poland, 115 Mins, Cert. 15) – Subtitled

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For Holocaust Memorial Day (27 Jan)

Director: Anne Fontaine
Stars: Lou de Laâge, Agata Buzek, Agata Kulesza
Continuing a theme of the David Lean Cinema’s January programme, The story line of The Innocents is also drawn from real events, being based on diaries kept by a French doctor at the end of World War ll.
This is a powerful, beautifully paced drama about the aftermath of the German/Russian occupations of Poland on a convent of nuns. Riven with fear and shame, the nuns are forced outside their isolated community to seek the help of a young, atheist French Red Cross doctor (a sensitive, brilliant performance from de Laâge).
The development of the relationship between Nuns and doctor is surprising, intriguing and at times delightful, as is the emergence of the nuns’ individual characters. The snowy winter provides a fitting, atmospherically shot backdrop for this poignant, life-affirming tale of sisterly solidarity and human survival – even triumph, snatched from the mouth of disaster.

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