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Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen (2009)

tomatometer

88

Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

69

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 1,117

My Rating

Movie Info

Hildegard von Bingen was truly a woman ahead of her time. A visionary in every sense of the word, this famed 12th-century Benedictine nun was a Christian mystic, composer, philosopher, playwright, poet, naturalist, scientist, physician, herbalist and ecological activist. In Vision, New German Cinema auteur Margarethe von Trotta (Marianne and Juliane, Rosa Luxemburg, Rosenstrasse) reunites with recurrent star Barbara Sukowa (Zentropa, Berlin Alexanderplatz) to bring the story of this

Apr 19, 2011

$0.4M

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All Critics (37) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (7) | DVD (2)

There was obviously much to this woman, yet somehow Visions feels curiously empty feeling.

February 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Vision is shot through with issues of power - personal, political, spiritual. Which makes it a terrifically resonant work.

December 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
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Barbara Sukowa brings her veteran presence to the role, and nicely fuses its dual nature, holy instrument and holy terror, the passive vessel of a higher power and the active force of the good mother.

December 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although this true story offers numerous opportunities for skepticism and irony, director Margarethe von Trotta accords Hildegard the respect of a proto-feminist forebear and frames her in golden light like a Vermeer painting.

November 24, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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It's hard to muster more than curious indifference to Margarethe von Trotta's "Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen."

November 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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What we have here is the story of a very cool nun from a thousand years ago.

November 11, 2010 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Perhaps unsurprisingly, Vision is didactic and a bit stilted-although to be fair, so are most mainstream biopics rehashing historical events more familiar than this one, which presents its subject as a rousing protofeminist.

July 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Sukowa gives Hildegard intriguing complexity and an almost irresistible charisma ... but the great [film] about this woman who embraced faith, art, and science is yet to arrive.

June 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Response

(A) portrayal of an immortal spirit thriving in a unique vision.

May 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Von Trotta and Sukowa create a very nuanced study of Hildegard, one that imbues the figure with human foibles in a number sufficient to keep at bay any hagiographic impulses.

December 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

A reasonably effective presentation of the director's feminist view of a fascinating medieval figure, though one that's very deliberate in pacing and visually quite severe.

December 9, 2010 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

A medieval pre-feminist nun who poked a few holes in the stained glass ceiling. Though there's little elbow room for nonbeliever audience comfort zones. And while Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, Hildegard led the nuns out of a horny monastery.

December 5, 2010 Full Review Source: WBAI Radio
WBAI Radio

Vision takes a serious and mostly positive view of spirituality without uniformly endorsing the established Church, which is shown as a male-dominated political and business enterprise as much as a keeper of souls.

December 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Playback:stl
Playback:stl

For the most part, Vision offers conventional wisdom -- just what Hildegard didn't.

November 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Hildegard is a fascinating character, and the movie's treatment of faith is complex and respectful.

November 5, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Audience Reviews for Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen

Biopic on the life of the fascinating 12th century Bendectine nun who saw visions of God and was also a composer, philosopher, polymath, and a strong-willed woman who often butted heads with the Church's male hierarchy. Amazing in it's ability to draw you into its now alien world and get you involved with clerical politics and the slow, quiet rhythms of cloistered life.
December 7, 2010
366weirdmovies
Greg S

Super Reviewer

"Vision" starts on December 31, 999 with a group of people fearing the end of the world with the Y1K virus, huddled together praying, expecting not to wake up in the morning.(I have heard of people who had hangovers so massive they almost wish they hadn't woken up but that's something else entirely.) They get a pleasant surprise when they do.

Into this world of ignorance walks Hildegard von Bingen(Barbara Sukowa) who at the age of eight is given over to the care of a cloister. 30 years later and she is about to be appointed magistra but claims ill health and anyway her fellow nuns should vote for her which they do almost unanimously. Along with her spiritual duties, she becomes interested in medicine and studies how music can also be used to heal the body. And then the visions kick in which she confesses to Brother Volmar(Heino Ferch), resulting with her being threatened with the charge of heresy.

Written and directed by Margarethe von Trotta, "Vision" is an engaging look at an amazing woman who was way ahead of her time, depicted not as a saint, but as a flawed human being. With the exception of the Arabic world, the Church had most of the accumulated learning which Hildegard used her skills to negotiate access to for her and her nuns. With this learning, she started the slow walk out of the dark ages into a new world of knowledge. And part of that comes with having respect for and knowledge of the body.(Unless you're getting off on it, I have never understood self-flagellation.)
October 23, 2010
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Vision - Aus dem Leben der Hildegard von Bingen (DE)
  • Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen (Vision - Aus dem Leben der Hildegard von Bingen) (UK)
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