With a touch of magical realism, “Stations of The Cross” is easily one of the must see films of the year as it is truly wondrous in the way it carefully avoids clichés – the biggest sin in cinema.
“…you know that this music can be satanically influenced. The drum rhythms and the monotonous bass lines tempt us to unchaste actions”, told by her Priest about singing gospel and soul in a different church's choir, Maria, our sacrificial protagonist wiped her tears before abandoning a chance to sing with the boy she likes due to the differences in their respective branch of Christianity. Such is life for the girl who has been living her whole life avoiding committing sins, a pursuit of purity that has deprived humanity from every aspect of her life. Or maybe as another “Virgin Suicide” story, the film “Stations of The Cross” de-glorifies sacraments or fundamentalism in any ideologies through a wonderfully acted set of 14 long-takes, depicting a present day German girl's life in the most horrifying circumstances – being a member of Society of St. Paul. Director Dietrich Brüggemann employed a fantastical and yet frightfully risky way of unfolding the story which involves almost no movements of the camera, literally framing the film allowing no possibility to shift focal points. A metaphor – zero tolerance of alternative points of view. The genius of this technique presents itself beautifully in the library scene where boy meets girl for the first time, a treat that will without a doubt become a classic for its imaginative way of opening dimensions in just one static shot. Maria's character played by Lea Van Acken was perfectly cast but it was the strict and brutally uncompromising mother played by Austrian actress Franziska Weisz who brought the acting to the sublime. With a touch of magical realism, “Stations of The Cross” is easily one of the must see films of the year as it is truly wondrous in the way it carefully avoids clichés – the biggest sin in cinema.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS is in cinemas 28 November
Award-winning film which won the Berlin Silver Bear for Best Script this year and the EIFF Student Jury Prize.