In 1106, eight-year-old Hildegard (Barbara Sukowa) joins a Benedictine communal cloister. For 30 years, she's taught by the majistra/head nun Jutta (Lena Stolze). When Jutta dies, Hildegard discovers that her mentor had worn a belt of thorns in the hope of becoming closer to God through pain.
Taking over as majistra, Hildegard sets out to change the Benedictine rules, including that of self-flagellation. Using herbs and stones, she becomes a holistic healer, connecting nature to spirituality. She is a composer (many of her over 90 songs still inform today's religious services), a dramatist (her lyrical play Ordo Virtutum appears in the film) and scientist (her writings inspire Leonardo da Vinci's drawing of the Vitruvian Man three centuries later). She founds a nunnery for sisters only (the result of a nun becoming pregnant in the cloister that male and female clergy share) and is the first woman to write about female sexuality. Risking scepticism, she talks openly about the visions she sees and receives the Pope's permission to publish the messages she hears from God.
In German with English subtitles.
|Director:||Margarethe von Trotta|
|Studio:||Métropole Films Distribution|
|Cast:||Barbara Sukowa, Heino Ferch, Hannah Herzsprung, Lena Stolze, Alexander Held, Sunnyi Melles|
|Writer(s):||Margarethe von Trotta|