At the close of World War II, Mathilde (De Laage), a Red Cross medic, is helping wounded French survivors in Poland. One night she is summoned to a convent where a young nun is in the throes of labor. After performing a C-section, Mathilde is sworn to secrecy by Sister Maria (Buzek) and the Mother Superior (Kulesza). But the nuns are hiding another horrific secret that will test their faith, and also prove dangerous for Mathilde.
In muted tones that perfectly fit the narrative, Fontaine delivers a powerful drama that examines the role of faith in the face of evil. Shot in snowy monochromes, the visual palate reinforces themes of solitude and struggle as Mathilde grapples with her own beliefs in light of the nuns’ ordeals. Restrained performances from De Laage and Buzek portray a barely suppressed trauma, and Kulesza’s anguish-wracked turn also contributes to a searing cinematic experience. Don’t turn away from this one.