The end of innocence...the beginning of life.
A look inside an offbeat boarding school for young girls.
A look inside an offbeat boarding school for young girls.
A whole infinite universe of possible interpretations, perspectives, even personal feelings can circle around the concept of “innocence”, which we most often associate to purity, naïveté towards evil, ingenuousness towards sexuality, a lack of ability to measure personal acts, peaceful or violent. An Eden can come to mind, illustrated or not, real or theoretical. This place must be untouched by neoliberalism, industrialization, consumerism trends, or complex socioeconomic or political structures. Innocence entails a perception of safety, maybe even Nature in its least contaminated form. Now, can innocence be so pure that the possibility of it being destroyed by external forces opposite to its nature exists, or is purity a transcendent idea which ideological form shall prevail, allowing no extermination or…
I didn't realize Montessori schools were this weird.
This is, most of all, incredibly atmospheric. Enchanting, nearly. After a while I stopped feeling like I was watching a film; I was simply there, inside the woods with the children. It's strange, the tone and especially the setting made me think something horrible could happen at any moment yet I couldn't (or didn't want to) stop watching. The story is about a group of girls growing up in a boarding school, and there isn't really much else to it, plot-wise. Even though this may sound slightly dull, I wasn't bored for a single moment. It is slow paced, certainly, but I felt very close to the characters and was completely immersed in the short period I got to see of their lives.
Innocence actually sadly earned a spot at Gunaxin.com's list of 100 most disturbing movies. Not that I don't see why, but Innocence is, unlike most movies at that list, disturbing in a way most people should experience it. Hopefully you won't be scared away, for Hadzihalilovic's movie is truly a hidden gem of great cinematic value.
In some ways the experience of Innocence is like the most beautiful doomsday you can imagine. While being uncomfortable to deal with, you just can't take your eyes away. It's slow paced and deliberate in its ways, it's hauntingly beautiful, it's demanding and it's most definitely not everybody's cup of tea. However, the reward for people who actually enjoys this kind of tea is magnificent.
Innocence is a movie-experience unlike anything else I've ever seen, and its originality, cinematography and soundtrack adds up to a modern hidden gem of thought-provoking magnitude you shouldn't overlook.
The girls are shown in light and then dark and then light and then dark, their lives intertwined due to a shared meditative state of carelessness. Innocence is what life is about but it becomes horrifying because Hadzihalilovic sees shadows in daytime rather than light at nighttime (and these shadows are what she explores with her almost-entirely-static camera).
Gorgeous, sublimely understated allegory of girlhood, focusing on quiet moments and ritualistic symbolism. Between this and EVOLUTION I am digging Lucile Hadžihalilović's penchant for creating matriarchal societies with a surrealist bent.
French mystery drama-film written and directed by Lucile Hadžihalilović, (Gaspar Noe's wife, at her debut) inspired by german playwright Frank Wedekind's 1903 novella Mine-Haha, or On the Bodily Education of Young Girls shows this mystifying dreamlike world that is their boarding school, for a bunch of primary age girls and their two teachers, played by Helene de Fougerolles and Marion Cotillard But what is this whole uncanny movie really about? Stupid question … innocence!
Of ribbons and rainbows, water and wonder.
A monumental effort with minimal effect on me aside from scaring the crap out of me a couple of times. Its new Eden aspect seems fundamentally at odds with the way that the girls seem to be sexualized by the outside world. This is almost certainly intentional, but the film seems to want you to find "enjoyment" in watching undiluted innocence while also wanting to horrify you at the way that these girls remain unaware of the external forces that leer at them. Hadzihalilovic has enough formal mastery to make me certain that it is my own response here is the problem, not the film's quality, and perhaps the specifics of my person create a sort of barrier to some…
"Innocence" reminds me of the days when I strove for everyone's highest approval. In primary school, I was smart - hell I was considered 'borderline gifted', though I was never the smartest. I can tell you the names of the 3 students who always bet me for the highest grades, who were always chosen to read at assemblies, whose works was always paraded around the class. It angered me more than my tiny body could take, and I still harbour that resentment, that reminder that I'm barely good at anything, let alone the best. I'll never be the chosen one.
I danced for 10 years of my life. Although I'm grateful for those lessons and years of physical activity, I'll…
I feel like I would've liked this more had I not just seen Evolution (which is a masterpiece) as I feel like a lot of the thematic elements that permeate itself into Innocence were capitalized in Evolution. Still a fascinating film and one that manages to be completely devoid of any male characters which is commendable and works to the atmosphere and the overall aesthetic/point of the movie. Seek it out if you get the chance.
This goes for the slow-burn creepy – or at least mysterious – vibe but fails, so all that’s left is slow-burn boredom. 40 minutes was all I could take.
Even when we're blindly led, shaped and trained, we remain our desire of self-discovery and the joy that's coming along with it.
Movie Maestro 2,613 films
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