Thursday, September 22, 2016

Stations of the Cross

German Film Week 2016
Trinoma Cinemas


As a practising Catholic, I know for a fact the agony which the lead character experiences as she tries to remain true to her faith is very realistic. Yet I also know that what Maria espouses is an extreme form of Catholic devotion. 

In the same manner that Islam has its extremists, Catholicism also has its own fair share of fanatics whose interpretation of the tenets are strictly radicalized and a very drastic form of worship.

Presented through austere frames captioned by the 14 Stations of the Cross, I admit it was difficult to fathom how a young 14 year old girl can feel so conflicted about what her beliefs require from her daily existence. 

Choosing to sacrifice and adhere strongly to her devotion in this modern world is both admirable and depressing. You can be faulted to think that the setting of the story was in the early 1960s, a period when people were still 'naive' and had conservative views, given the sparse cinematography.  

I think what struck me most was the glaring absence of any form of gadgets which could be a valid form of distraction for the current generation. Perhaps because it was set in a small German town. Or the director wanted to eradicate any form of distraction so that the audience can clearly focus on the misgivings of the soulful Maria as she remained steadfastly true to her understanding of her powerfully strong beliefs.

The acting is on point especially for the young actress who portrays Maria. Simple and subtle yet laden with different very expressive reactions to the endless 'challenges' she had to face in her daily evolution. 

"Stations of the Cross" give us a pure and raw narrative that is guaranteed to tug our heartstrings as we begin to question our own devotion to our faith, regardless of any religious denomination. 

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