This directorial debut convinces in its exploration of spiritual ferment, but fumbles the task of assembling a coherent narrative. In a medieval community, a peasant (Morse) becomes obsessed with the local chapel's statue of the Virgin, and, pronounced a holy anchoress, is walled up in the building with the object of her passion. With only a small window to the world, the girl creates a rich interior domain for herself, but in the process becomes something of a tourist attraction and longs for freedom. The film is most powerful during the cell-bound mid-section, contrasting the heroine's innocence with the machinations of Church and State. Aided by lustrous b/w cinematography, Newby delineates the textures of her pastoral surroundings to hallucinatory effect.

By: TJ

Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Christopher Newby
Screenwriter: Judith Stanley-Smith, Christine Watkins
Cast: Natalie Morse
Julie T Wallace
Eugene Bervoets
Peter Postlethwaite
Toyah Wilcox
Christopher Eccleston