Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen (2010)

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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
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Art House & International , Documentary , Drama , Special Interest , Faith & Spirituality , Sports & Fitness
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Runtime:
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Cast

Barbara Sukowa
as Hildegard von Bingen
Heino Ferch
as Brother Volmar
Hannah Herzsprung
as Richardis von Stade
Lena Stolze
as Jutta
Sunnyi Melles
as Richardis' Mother
Mareile Blendl
as Jutta von Sponheim
Stella Holzapfel
as Young Hildegard
Annemarie Düringer
as Abbess Tengwich
Devid Striesow
as Emperor Frederick Barbarossa
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Critic Reviews for Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (16)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 2, 2011
New York Post
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 2, 2011
Miami Herald
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | February 3, 2011
Detroit News
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | December 17, 2010
Denver Post
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | December 3, 2010
Globe and Mail
Top 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.

Full Review… | November 24, 2010
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

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

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.

Andrew Rothmund
Andrew Rothmund

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.

Andrew Rothmund
Andrew Rothmund
½

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.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

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