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Hadewijch Review

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The story of Celine (Sokolowski), a passionate Christian asked to leave her convent for her overly extreme attitude to faith. Once back at her wealthy but distant parents' Parisian home she befriends Nassir (Sarafidis), who although Muslim, shares and encourages Celine's extremist approach to faith.

★★★★★

Bruno Dumont will surely provoke controversy with this treatise on the connection between spirituality, worldly disillusion and terrorism. But, even though the central conceit seems flawed, there is no denying the power of this comparison of Christian and Islamic concepts of love. Denied the vocation she craves, pious 20 year-old theology student Julie Sokolowski finds an outlet for her zeal on befriending mosque preacher Karl Sarafidis. Using close-ups almost to peer into Sokolowki’s soul, Dumont examines the ease with which religious faith can become fanaticism. However, the shocking Middle Eastern sequence and Sokolowski's salvation by David Dewaele seriously strain credibility.

A controversial exploration of different faiths. Newcomer Julie Sokolowski shows her mettle.

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