Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Nun's Story

1959, 152m, Fred Zinneman (dir), Audrey Hepburn

This opulent film is about life in a Roman Catholic convent followed by the activities of Christian medical missionaries in the Belgian Congo in pre-WW2 years. The African landscape and people are captured in primeval glory. The religious order is severe and authoritarian, seeking to govern even the thoughts of the acolytes. On the other hand, the zeal and dedication of those who ventured forth as missionaries to propagate their faith can have few historical parallels.  This was Audrey Hepburn's own favorite role, and she gives a fine portrayal  of the idealistic and conflicted nun. Also it gives a rare, even if superficial, glimpse into monastic life.
Quoting Bosley Crowther;
"Mr. Zinnemann has made this off-beat drama describe a parabola of spiritual afflatus and deflation that ends in a strange sort of defeat. For the evident point of this experience is that a woman gains but also loses her soul, spends and exhausts her devotion to an ideal she finds she cannot hold."


Anonymous said...

It is a standard product from the Hollywood studio era, but it is a nice one.

S. M. Rana said...

Of course it is a standardized film with mass appeal, but was continuously enjoyable, and quite informative.