In Bruno Dumont's Hadewijch, Céline (Julie Sokolowski, in a compelling first turn) has taken on the name of Hadewijch, the patron saint of the convent where she has been received as novice. At the convent her self-mortification in the name of Christ is disruptive to the rules of the nunnery; her behavior perceived as evidence of vanity. As penance, she is sent back into the world of her former life in hopes that she will gain a clearer understanding of how her spiritual calling might apply to the real world. Reluctant to re-enter the bourgeois environment of her Parisian diplomat father, Céline struggles with finding a way to reconcile her passion for God with her social world. She befriends two Muslim brothers Yassine and Nassir who introduce her to the dangers of religious extremism and force her to make a life-determining choice.
Bruno Dumont's Hadewijch boasted its world premiere in the Special Presentations Program at this year's Toronto International, where it was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize. At The Auteurs Daily, David Hudson has gathered reviews from the film's screenings at both Toronto and the NYFF.
My thanks to Stephen Lan for facilitating this interview, to Robert Gray for his interpretive assistance, and to Danny Kasman at The Auteurs for publishing the transcript, which can be found here.
Cross-published on Twitch.