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THE REAL NATURE OF BERNADETTE

Canada, 1972 (MIFF 1973)

Director: Gilles Carle

In Carle's new film, Bernadette leaves her husband and, with their son flees the middle-class existence that has been her lot, seeking the freedom she has been denied. They settle on a farm in the backwoods, and before long, it becomes a commune inhabited by others who, for various reasons, have been unable to come to terms with the world in which they have been living. Bernadette believes her mission to be that of an angel of mercy and so she bestows her favours, whether physical or spiritual, upon all who wish to avail themselves of them. After she has aided to health the son of a prostitute who has committed suicide, she is seen by the locals as capable of performing miracles, and pilgrims journey to the farm to see her. Amongst them are two drifters who introduce violence to the small community, and Bernadette is forced to face the fact that the world she has created for herself does not provide all the answers.

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