Innocence

Is this a horror movie or a grim fairy tale? Dedicated to her colleague, confrontationalist director Gaspar Noé, and sourced from a work by dark expressionist Frank Wedekind, Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s stunning debut describes the purgatorial existence of schoolgirls in a sequestered rural college. In their crisp white gym shifts andpigtail ribbons colour-coded by age, these prepubescent model pupils are self-policing, save for a lone crippled mistress and a ballet teacher and the hovering threat of their ‘graduation’ ceremony in the mysterious house through the dark wood from whence none ever return. Meticulously shot by Benoît Debie with the chromatic richness of the pre-Raphaelite painters  – you can almost smell the moss and decay – and miraculously acted by its predominately young cast, Hadzihalilovic’s film may make for a finally problematic feminist fable, but its unique vision conjures memories of the terrible beauty of Franju’s surreal work and Laughton’s supreme symbolist invocation of childhood, ‘The Night of the Hunter’. 

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday September 30 2005
Duration: 115 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Lucile Hadzihalilovic
Screenwriter: Lucile Hadzihalilovic
Cast: Marion Cotillard
Hélène de Fougerolles
Zoé Auclair

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|2
1 person listening
peter MOORE

AN ENIGMATIC FILM WHICH LEFT ME WONDERING IF WHAT I REALISED MANY YEARS AGO THAT ONCE THE HORMONES KICK IN THEY ARE DOOMED, EXAMPLE LINDSEY LOHAN. I FIRST SAW THIS WHEN IT WAS FIRST RELEASED/

peter MOORE

AN ENIGMATIC FILM WHICH LEFT ME WONDERING IF WHAT I REALISED MANY YEARS AGO THAT ONCE THE HORMONES KICK IN THEY ARE DOOMED, EXAMPLE LINDSEY LOHAN. I FIRST SAW THIS WHEN IT WAS FIRST RELEASED/