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.
"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…
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.
Lucile Hadzihalilovic creates the most peculiar worlds, and Innocence's Eden is a stage taken from dreams.
dreamlike, dark and very obscure. beautiful aestethics. allusions that i could not understand. i feel this is more a film for the senses, than a film for the mind.
I really wanted to love this film. I loved the set design and location work, I adored the cinematography, and I felt reasonably intrigued all the way through.
Unfortunately, Innocence just feels too vague and ambiguous to ever really grip you. Hazihalilovic would improve on this with her excellent second feature Evolution, which has the same woozy dreamlike feel but pays off its moments of strangeness with genuine shock and creepiness. Innocence has plenty of style and inexplicable imagery, but you're left wanting more at the end.
Kind of reminded me of a Lanthimos film where the world is strange but the emotions are real. But unlike a Lanthimos film, there is not much cruelty here. The girls largely accept their weird little existence and seem to enjoy themselves most of the time. It's the adults who come off conflicted about what is going on. With all that is going on you'd think there would be something sinister under the surface, but sure enough its just alternative way of bringing up young girls.
A truly sensory experience. One of those films that isn't trying to hammer a narrative. Things just play out in the forests and streams. Relationships are natural and the play is first rate. I…
Stays true to it's own logic through the very end. It's comittment is what makes it compelling, even if the quietness might lend itself to stubborn thoughts of questioning why so and so is happening but rarely was I thinking that. I was more wrapped up in the enigmatic nature preserving your own innocence(/aging). An act, as shown in the movie, can be life or death. Though there's an odd sense of hope by the end and used through it's water motif. Like being able to embrace you're own bodily fluids (as Broken Social Scene put it, lover's spit) is the saving grace to the tragedy of growing up. I think that's something we all get behind.
Great movie, I liked it even though I think I don´t really understood it... I think... I have my thoughts of course but the subject is really hard to get hold of and there is nothing that points you in the right direction. This leaves me in a state of mind where I don´t really know if I understood the movie in total..
I am having problems with the kids acting as well. The first 25 minutes I got annoyed by their poor performance but as the story went on and unvieled itself the kids performance did excel making it enjoyable..
This surreal, fairy-tale esque French gem comes the closest I think I've ever seen to a film capturing the ineffable strangeness of what it's like to be a girl on the cusp of adolescence. The way everything feels charged, even a little dangerous, for reasons you can't quite grasp; the mysterious ebb and flow of friendships and how quickly their natures can change; how you sense but can't put words to the feeling of being on display; how the ways people look at you gradually begin to change without your consent or understanding; and how our guardians and protectors often fail us in ways they cannot comprehend. This is an uncomfortable, voyeuristic film in some ways, not because it's exploitative, though it definitely tows the line there occasionally, but because it pins a visual truth to feelings often indescribable. I don't even remember how I first heard about this but I'll definitely be seeking out the director's other work.
Movie Maestro 2,789 films
[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…