Anne Fontaine’s “Agnus Dei” may not have made much noise at Sundance last month compared to buzzy festival titles like “Swiss Army Man” and “The Birth of a Nation,” but it quickly earned a small, passionate following and the film has now found distribution thanks to Music Box Films. The Chicago-based company has acquired all U.S. rights to the film under a new name, “The Innocents,” and will release it this summer.
The official synopsis reads: “Poland, December 1945: Mathilde (Lou de Laâge, ‘Breathe’) is a young French Red Cross doctor based in Warsaw when a nun seeks her help. She is brought to a cloistered Benedictine convent where she discovers a young novice in labor. It soon becomes clear that the entire order has been profoundly traumatized and several other nuns are pregnant from a series of brutal sexual assaults by the Red Army. Needing medical assistance and fearing the shame of exposure and the hostility of the newly installed Communist government, the nuns – their faith challenged – turn to Mathilde, a non-believer, who becomes their only hope.”
The deal was negotiated at Sundance by Music Box Films’ president William Schopf and managing partner Nicolas Brigaud-Robert at Films Distribution. Music Box Films currently has Pablo Larraín’s “The Club” now playing in theaters, and the company will next release Alexander Sokurov’s acclaimed “Francofonia” in theaters this spring.
“The Innocents” opens in France on February 10 and will hit U.S. theaters in July.