Anne Fontaine’s fashion biopic “Coco Before Chanel” was a surprise international hit in 2009, and now the director’s latest film, “The Innocents,” takes a sharp turn to a war-ravaged house of God in Poland.
Set in December of 1945, the film follows Mathilde (Lou de Laâge, “Breathe”) as a young French Red Cross doctor who is summoned by a nun in need of help. Per the film’s official synopsis, “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 Innocents” debuted at Sundance this year to strong reviews (it was then known as “Agnus Dei”). The French-Polish drama – based on true events – has been brought to life by a team of female filmmakers who occupied most of the production’s acting, writing and technical roles.
Our chilling exclusive trailer for the film shows the budding relationship between newfound parent Mathilde and confidant Sister Maria (Agata Buzek). We also get glimpses of the domineering Rev. Mother (Agata Kulesza, “Ida”) and the muted, desolate cinematography by Caroline Champetier (“Of Gods and Men,” “Holy Motors”). Check it out below.
Music Box films will release the film in select theaters on July 1.