Wednesday, October 25 - Thursday, November 9, 2023

In-person Q&As with Director Carmen Jaquier moderated by Joe McGovern of The Wrap on Wednesday, October 25 at 7:10 p.m., moderated by Esther Zuckerman on Thursday, October 26 at 7:10 p.m., and moderated by Jourdain Searles Friday, October 27 at 7:15 p.m.

After the sudden and mysterious death of her sister, a 17-year-old novitiate explores her God-given right to experience life to the fullest, during the summer of 1900 in Switzerland.

Nestled in a lush Swiss valley in the summer of 1900, 17-year-old Elisabeth — the second of four girls — is preparing to take her vows at a nunnery, where she was sent to pray for her family’s protection from the disasters of life. After five years in pious seclusion, Elisabeth’s fate is abruptly altered when she is summoned home to work the fields following the death of her elder sister, Innocente. While it was Innocente who instilled in Elisabeth a devotion to God, she learns that her sister’s soul has been condemned to wander. Obedient siblings Adèle and Paule seem to understand their prescribed roles, but the maddening silence surrounding Innocente’s mysterious death pushes Elisabeth to seek answers from three childhood friends — now young men with their own cravings for truth and connection.

Inspired by Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1964 neorealist drama The Gospel According to St. Matthew, this bold feature debut from writer and director Carmen Jaquier — whose short film The Girls’ Grave (2011) won the Silver Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival — gives the impression of being handled by someone pulsing with experience. While lusting for answers to the world’s biggest questions, Jaquier submerges the viewer in anticipation. Penetrating time and borders, her passionate exploration of youthful yearning is adorned in textured landscapes that yield to the softness and sensuality of summer. Shot by Marine Atlan and flanked by a haunting score from Nicolas Rabaeus, newcomer Lilith Grasmug is captivating as the unruly Elisabeth, whose ethereal dreams, obsessions, and desires are as old as time, explored shamelessly in the hills, valleys, and rivers.

  • Country Switzerland
  • Language French with English Subtitles
  • Running Time 92 minutes
  • Format DCP
  • Distributor Dekanalog
  • Director Carmen Jaquier
  • Cast Sabine Timoteo, Lilith Grasmug, François Revaclier, Barbara Tobola

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and as well as through general internet searches.