Recently I managed to make some time and decided on watching a movie.
I picked out a French film called Les Innocentes which literally can translate to The Innocents.
This film was beautifully directed and the harsh realities of war were portrayed through this movie brilliantly. Normally we believe that it’s the soldiers who are most effected in war but this movie gave me a true insight as to who else greatly suffers.
It’s December 1945, Mathilde Beaulieu is a young French medical student who is posted in Poland as part of a medical mission to assist the survivors of the war. A panick stricken nun approaches her and asks for aid yet mathilde advises her to go to the Polish Red Cross for assistance. A while later she looks outside to see the nun praying hence mathilde decides to go to the convent to help the a young women who is in labour.
Whilst helping the young woman Mathilde sees a nun faint only to find out she is pregnant too.Sister Maria ( who is genuinely a darling), who can speak French, tells Mathilde that 7 nuns there are pregnant, after Soviet soldiers raped them. That literally brought me to tears, how cruel is war. Apart from killings this too is what takes place 😦
Mother superior is truly an awful hard stone cold women who finally allows mathilde to examen the women (Mathilde sort of blackmails her). When the Soviet soldiers return to the convent, Mathilde deflects them to leave by claiming that the convent is quarantined because of typhus. This act earns her the begrudging respect of the Mother Superior and the gratitude of the nuns
When back at the medical centre mathilde receives an emergency call that two nuns are in labour, that’s when mathilde asks her co-worker Samuel to help her ( before this she had informed no one of where she would wonder off in the night) Samuel is a Jew whose entire family has been killed in the war, he has complicated feelings towards the nuns, because of Poland’s earlier treatment of the Jews. He nonetheless agrees to help which was so compassionate and selfless of him. Huge respect for Samuel.
Now mother superior takes one of the baby’s and goes into the forest, the young nun Zofia follows behind but gets lost. Apparently mother superior leaves the baby in a basket by a cross – left to die.
Now I’m blabbing on so let me finish this off, so realising the children are unsafe Mathilde urges the nuns to return to the convent, bringing with her several of the orphaned children who spend their time around the Red Cross. This reveals to the nuns that mother superior committed a grave sin and they accept the children into the convent.
Three months later, the convent is a much happier place. The novice nuns finally take their vows after a long delay due to the war. The older children are happy in their new home. Together the nuns pose with their newborn infants and send the picture to Mathilde along with a letter in which they thank her for what she did for them.