Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen (2010)
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 extraordinary woman to life. In a staggering performance, Sukowa portrays von Bingen's fierce determination to expand the responsibilities of women within the order, even as she fends off outrage from some in the Church over the visions she claims to receive from God. Lushly shot in the original medieval cloisters of the fairytale-like German countryside, Vision is a profoundly inspirational portrait of a woman who has emerged from the shadows of history as a forward-thinking and iconoclastic pioneer of faith, change and enlightenment. -- (C) Zeitgeist … More
- Faith & Spirituality , Art House & International , Sports & Fitness , Documentary , Drama , Special Interest
- Directed By:
- Margarethe von Trotta
- Written By:
- Margarethe von Trotta
- In Theaters:
- Oct 13, 2010 Limited
- On DVD:
- Apr 19, 2011
- Box Office:
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Critic Reviews for Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen
There was obviously much to this woman, yet somehow Visions feels curiously empty feeling.
Vision is shot through with issues of power - personal, political, spiritual. Which makes it a terrifically resonant work.
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.
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.
It's hard to muster more than curious indifference to Margarethe von Trotta's "Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen."
What we have here is the story of a very cool nun from a thousand years ago.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For the most part, Vision offers conventional wisdom -- just what Hildegard didn't.
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.More
"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.)
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