Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen Reviews
December 7, 2010
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.
October 23, 2010
"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 18, 2010
A true genius & courageous leader of her time; she was an explosion of brilliant light in a time of great darkness. Hildegard is a hero I admire; and having seen her life in this film, she's portrayed as an admirable character with some noble traits, who struggled with her own weaknesses & loneliness. A theme of this film is the danger of Greed & Envy, vs Love. Her strength to overcome this loneliness came from her Creator, who learned humility through trials. She earned respect from great thinkers & writers & even the Pope. The more I read of her and hear her brilliant musical compositions, the more I admire her courage, conviction & tenacity. She is remarkable human being for any time; in her words "a feather on the breath of God" Be patient as you see this film which isn't paced like most Hollywood films. It unfolds slowly, but it is worth the patience.
July 29, 2012
very interesting and beautiful scenery
April 5, 2012
i really am anxious to watch this movie but i can't find any copies or sites wherein i could watch this. i hope you could help me.. thanks :)
March 15, 2012
Fantastic movie! We found it both inspiring and insightful. It really brings spirit and a humanness to the lives of nuns which lay people can understand. Beautiful stuff!
October 30, 2011
I suspect that there was much more to Hildegard von Bingen's life than her relationships with the other nuns. But I didn't find it "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" like the studio's press release said about it.
August 23, 2011
German biopic of the famous nun Hidegard von Bingen (1098-1179) who, among many other things, composed some of the earliest music we have written by a known author. Great movie if you like the middle ages, though methinks everyone's a bit too clean...
May 1, 2011
I liked it very much and thought all performers were chosen perfectly. The story was very intriguing and well presented.
March 19, 2011
Interesting period piece. Story slow. Had to poke myself a couple times.
March 17, 2011
It really didn't grab me like I wish it would have, but it's stiill fair to say that neither Von Trotta nor Sukowa have lost their touch. It's an interesting and respectable film, but perhaps not as provocative (nor memorable?) as I hoped.
March 5, 2011
An inspiring and powerful story, made me to read and know more about Hildegard von Bingen
January 31, 2011
As some of you know I did a portrait of Hildegard Von Bingen and have been fascinated with her music and her life. Am hoping we will show this here in Nyack at Rivertown Film, but if you are not here check it out on Netflix.
January 29, 2011
Very well done biography of a woman ahead of her times and remembered throughout history.
January 13, 2011
Forgivably dry, but unforgivably shallow, this partial biography doesn't extend its reaches out into any recognizable profundity - quite unlike the actions of Hildegard von Bingen herself. This simple depiction of her life through action doesn't paint a clear picture of her impact and statement in either her monastical or literal existence. The film suffers from annoying stylistic and plot repetitions, drudge dialogue, and excessive dramatization, and thus steers away from even an expressionist composure of von Bingen's life and the impact that it's had on others. It's failure to cohere in either a religious or secular fashion is product only of the film's deficiency as a mechanism for delivering a message - one that's well worth delivering.
January 13, 2011
Forgivably dry, but unforgivably shallow, this partial biography doesn't extend its reaches out into any recognizable profundity - quite unlike the actions of Hildegard von Bingen herself. This simple depiction of her life through action doesn't paint a clear picture of her impact and statement in either her monastical or literal existence. The film suffers from annoying stylistic and plot repetitions, drudge dialogue, and excessive dramatization, and thus steers away from even an expressionist composure of von Bingen's life and the impact that it's had on others. It's failure to cohere in either a religious or secular fashion is product only of the film's deficiency as a mechanism for delivering a message - one well worth delivering.
January 10, 2011
what an amazin movie. Was spellbounded by the story and great acting. This is a must must see.
January 9, 2011
I was familiar with this nun because of her music...the film concentrated more on her feministic and healing attributes.....I wanted more music......
|Jarred R. Kamin||
December 11, 2010
It's a rare thing to witness in modern American culture: a film that attempts to be respectful of a nun who lived in the early 1000's A.D., and who claimed to receive messages from God. Hildegard von Bingen was certainly no ordinary woman, a great leader of her fellow Sisters in Christ, as well as a paragon of ancient Christian mysticism she was a true leader. Unfortunately, this film doesn't do her life justice, nor will it convince many people of her sincerity rather than the probability of her lunacy.
Margarethe von Trotta's screenplay is faithful to key events in the life of Mother Hildegard, but unfortunately convoluted. The images and plot devices on screen weave in and out of one another without a consistent through-line and without artistic restraint, lending for an ultimately sloppy delivery of an otherwise complete story of her life, from birth to death.
Even in other areas this film confused me, as half of the scenes were filmed beautifully, with gorgeous landscape shots and tactful camera angles to emphasize emotion and even a sense of Gregorian spirituality in ancient Christendom. But then the other half of the film contained almost laughably messy shots, fast-zooms, shaky camerawork, etc.
This, of course, visually caused a downfall to otherwise beautiful set and costume design. The art direction in "Vision" was truly beautiful, with close attention to period-wary detail as well as wholesomely natural surroundings, reflecting Hildegard's own love of nature itself.
Barbara Sukowa shines as Hildegard von Bingen, clearly an experienced and commanding German actress. She makes for a rather inspiring-looking leader, with her piercing gaze, her surefire delivery of lines, and the graceful poise with which she went about her daily duties as magistra to a cloister of soon-to-be-nuns.
In the end, an unusual script and uneven camera work (as well as the glorification of someone who most likely had schizophrenia) lead to an otherwise well-made film feeling more messy than inspirational. Not to mention the strange hollowness that seems to pervade a story that is meant to be spiritually rich. The true redeeming qualities of this somewhat disappointing but still partially well-constructed work, are the rare moments of visual beauty, and Sukowa's commanding performance.
November 26, 2010
It moved me to tears.