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Very few of the reviews came close to understanding the import of this film. Without reading what Dietrich Brüggemann and his sister Anna have to say about the film, it's impossible to work out whether the miraculous cure of the heroine's brother was written in to add a layer of spurious complexity and add a trompe l'œile impression of depth, or whether Anna and Dietrich fully understood their own script. I would opt for the former, but in that case, the film has overtaken its makers, and stands as a counter-cultural monument to a disintegrating Germany and Western Europe generally.
Most critics, predictably, looked at the window and saw only their own reflection. And that, also, is the story of the modern West.
This is a must-watch movie.
Minimal direction perfectly suited to this beautifully acted and scripted film.
Devastating study of fanaticism which does its best not to try to attack religious faith, but does end up taking out most of the fundamentals of Christian belief and seems to swipe quite hard at the nuclear family as well (though nothing is that unambiguous in this measured film), Some over-acting possibly because of the way it was shot and directed, but some inescapably poignant performances from the leads that may well induce feelings of sorrow and anger.
Thought-provoking, okay, but depth, I'm less sure. Well made german film showing the abusive mother and idiot father pushing the poor little girl into hating herself for being normal. She deprives herself to fit the mold of the supposedly catholic christian. These germans, one century they go crazy about Hitler, the next it's something else. Still crazy. I do believe a young girl (or boy) could be manipulated like this though and end up in jeopardy. It probably still happens today. But in the film, it continues after the girl is rescued by a doctor. It would have been easy to tell her that not eating is a sin. There are priests that know this. So, it comes out as catholic-bashing to me. Not credible.
Very bleak film about religious extremism. Beautifully filmed, but I found it ultimately unsatisfying.
Art House picture with a lot of conviction in the style, where the camera never moves and the scenes are long single takes. It does detract somewhat from the arguably heavy storyline that is taking place, which is a subtle critic on devoutness.
Pointless and over-rated.
The camera does not move. This is a movie that does not hide behind super fast editing. The characters, no matter how uncomfortable, are developed in patient and rhythmic style.
BruÌggemann nailed 'Stations of the Cross' in single shot, disturbing realism steeped in atmospheric tone. Unsure if I'm mortified or impressed. Both, perhaps.
I must admit that I approached this with a preconceived notion that it would offer opportunities for snickers and righteous indignation (since I am no fan of the Catholic Church or any church or religion or fanaticism, even vegetarianism). And yet I found this film to be an engrossing, thought provoking commentary on extremism and it's ultimate consequences. The unusual static camera and brilliant composition of each scene is like an antidote to cameras gone wild cinematography, evoking the stillness and reflection that epitomizes what is most attractive about religion. This is art without bells and whistles like music without auto tuning. When the camera finally moves we exhale exhilaration at having witnessed a minor miracle in filmmaking.