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The Innocents

A Benedictine convent nestled in the forests of Poland provides a sombre setting for Anne Fontaine's emotionally wrought drama, which observes the horrors of the Second World War from a different perspective. Winter falls in 1945. Mathilde Beaulieu (Lou de Laage) is an idealistic French medic working with the Red Cross to tend injured civilians and troops alongside smitten physician, Samuel (Vincent Macaigne). She is called away from the bustling medical centre to a remote convent where Mathilde is shocked to discover that several of the nuns are pregnant. The Reverend Mother (Agata Kulesza) and her assistant Maria (Agata Buzek) reluctantly disclose that Soviet soldiers stormed the building and raped the holy women. Now, several of the flock are with child and are hiding their bumps in shame beneath their robes. Mathilde is concerned about the medical complications that might arise when the nuns give birth, so she makes a series of secret visits to the convent under the cloak of darkness to tend to the nervous mothers-to-be and prepare them for their deliveries.