Hadewijch

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At Toronto’s recently concluded fest, many fine films engaged with religious content in a secular manner, especially the Coens’ A Serious Man and the Venice multiprize winner Lourdes, starring Sylvie Testud. Both of those films are AWOL from New York’s shindig, but at least we have the riveting latest from France’s Bruno Dumont—another Toronto standout (the movie world-premiered there) and one that achieves a rare degree of narrative suspense. As you get to know young Hadewijch, she strikes you as a cool, freaky chick hanging out in her parents’ luxe Paris apartment with her dog. (Dad’s a minister.) A virgin, Hadewijch is fiercely devoted to Christ, and was recently excused from a convent for excessive zeal; as our heroine begins to hang out with some exciting young Arabs, the film takes a truly provocative turn. Consider this one of the fest’s must-sees, both timely and personal. Sunday, Oct 4 at 6pm—Joshua Rothkopf

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New York Film Festival 2009

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