France/Poland – Drama – 115 mins – M
Inspired by a true story, this film explores some of the horrors of war and its aftermath. Poland, December 1945. A young French doctor (Mathilde) is summoned to a convent where she finds a nun giving birth, and a number of others in advanced stages of pregnancy — having been raped by German, and then Soviet, soldiers. The Reverend Mother seems more concerned about the shame to the church than their trauma, and insists it must remain a secret. Their beliefs and traditions clash with the harsh reality of a hostile new anti-Catholic Communist government; Mathilde is also challenged as an unbeliever by life in the convent, and by trying to help in secret while not authorised to do so. Values are questioned, authority challenged, and systems are forced to reshape themselves.