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Stations of the Cross chosen for the Italian Critics’ Award

Tuesday 3 November 2015, by SIGNIS

Brussels, Rome , (Camilo di Marco/SIGNIS/GC/) Stations of the Cross by Dietrich Brüggemann has won the prestigious Italian Critics’ Award, which the Sindacato Nazionale Critici Cinematografici Italiani SNCCI (The Union of Italian Film Critics) periodically awards to films of a certain aesthetic and cultural standard.

Stations of the Cross , which also won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the Berlin Film Festival, is currently shown in Italian theatres. The SNCCI said it chose the film “for the exciting rigor and sweeping irony with which Dietrich Brüggemann constructs the fourteen sequence shots of Maria’s dramatic ‘crucifixion’, in a precarious balance between the pressures of the outside world and the oppressive religious obsessions of her family".

The film starts with an apparently very sympathetic priest who is teaching catechism to young girls. After a few moments, the spectator discovers that the priest is propagating a very traditionalist interpretation of the Bible. Maria, one of the girls, finds herself caught between two worlds. At school, this 14-year-old girl has all the typical teenage interests, but when she’s at home with her family she follows the teachings of the Society of St. Pius XII which is a traditionalist interpretation of Catholicism. Everything that Maria thinks and does must be examined before God. And since the Lord is a strict shepherd, she lives in constant fear of committing some misconduct. Whilst Maria’s mother takes a tough line in compelling her daughter to stay on the path of righteousness, her father is often reticent and stands back during critical moments. Conflicts intensify as arguments erupt with teachers and doctors. Desperate to please everyone, Maria soon finds herself trapped in the crossfire. Her misinterpretation of the faith will have severe consequences for her and her family.

SIGNIS published a statement on the film in 2014. You can read it here

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