Documentary follows the pilgrims along their journey to Lourdes

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Lourdes is a small town of 13,000, but among Catholics it is known worldwide as the site of repeated Marian apparitions beginning in 1858.

The French documentary film, “Lourdes,” follows some of the thousands of pilgrims who travel to this sacred place each year. Its directors say that while many movies have been made on Lourdes, none previously focused on the experience of those who travel there which they heard from those on the ground. 

Director, “Lourdes”
We have a friend who is a volunteer in Lourdes, who takes care of the sick there once a year. One day he returned from his pilgrimage, and he told us about what was happening there in Lourdes.

Filmmakers haven't taken the time to show interest in the pilgrims or the reasons that they decide to come to Lourdes and accompany them along the way, so we immediately had had this idea for the film, believers or not.

The film's directors are not Catholics. Something they said gave them a unique outsider's perspective to view and present the journeys of pilgrims to a wider audience. So much so, that their film was nominated for a Cesar award, the French equivalent of the Oscar, for best documentary.

Director, “Lourdes”
We did not want to make a movie on faith, we wanted to make a movie on the human condition. We were interested in things like compassion, the relationship between the sick and the hospital workers, and we were very careful to make sure that the people in the movie do not use only a Catholic grammar that could make sharing their experiences inaccessible to some people.

They say that making the film changed their view of what the famous pilgrimage destination means to those who travel there. Something they hope their film will convey.

Director, “Lourdes”
It is true that when you think of Lourdes you often think of the miracle, it's a bit of a cliché to think only of the miracle. What we were struck by was seeing that very few people come for the miracle. They come to feel less alone, to feel the warmth of other people, to help each other, this cliché about seeking a miracle is rather far from what we saw there.

The movie has already been seen by over a quarter million people in France and will soon premiere in Spain and Latin America before expanding across other borders. 


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