Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

01 November 2016

The Innocents

Anne Fontaine's Les Innocentes is a superb film in French and Russian and Polish. It is about a young French doctor working for the Red Cross in Poland after World War II who finds her way to a convent where she is asked to treat a group of nuns who have been raped by Soviet soldiers. Several of the nuns are now many months pregnant, and the film follows the doctor as she negotiates her position with her superiors, the doctor with whom she is having an affair, the many complex personalities in the convent, and the ever-present sexual threat of the Soviet soldiers.

Les Innocentes stars Lou de Laâge, who is mesmerizing as the lead, and co-stars Agata Kulesza (from Ida) and Agata Buzek (who gives the movie's standout performance as a sister questioning her faith). Vincent Macaigne is Lou de Laâge's handsome lover.

I cannot recommend this movie enough. It is complex and fascinating, and tells the story of the very difficult positions in which many women of faith were placed after the war. I absolutely loved it.