Thursday, February 10, 2011

Movie: Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen

We learned about Hildegard von Bingen am letzten nacht ... I mean last night.

This sort of historical movie always frustrates me because I want to know how much of the content has some basis in historical evidence, how much has been added or altered for dramatic purposes, and how much has been added or altered to score points in modern political or cultural debates. In the case of this film, I think not much was added for purely dramatic purposes. The movie is low on plot and slow at times - "episodic" to use the word in the otherwise very positive LA Times review. The NY Times review seems a bit phoned in, and overly concerned with reassuring the reader that the reviewer is in no way religious, despite having been to see this movie.

Another review I read, which I could not find again today, noted that the movie does a very good job of illustrating life 1000 years ago. Aside from everyone have clean faces and clean hair, and not ever seeming to do much actual work, I would agree with that. It is also lushly and beautifully photographed, with a fine soundtrack.

Worth seeing, but know what you are getting into.

Addendum: here is the other review I mentioned.

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