Music Box Films is proud to announce the release of  THE INNOCENTS, director Anne Fontaine’s haunting, post-WW2 drama about Mathilde (Lou de Laâge, Breathe,) a young, forward-thinking French Red Cross doctor whose life is radically transformed when she comes to the aid of a group of young Polish nuns whose lives and faith have been dangerously tested. THE INNOCENTS is based on the true story of heroic French doctor and Resistance fighter Madeleine Pauliac. Selected for the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, and winner of the Audience Award at COLCOA 2016, THE INNOCENTS is scheduled to open on Friday, July 1 in New York (Lincoln Plaza Cinema and Angelika Film Center) and Los Angeles with a national roll out to follow.

Warsaw, December 1945: the second World War is finally over and Mathilde is treating the last of the French survivors of the German camps. When a panicked Benedictine nun appears at the clinic one night begging Mathilde to follow her back to the convent, what she finds there is shocking: a holy sister about to give birth and several more in advanced stages of pregnancy. A non-believer, Mathilde enters the sisters’ fiercely private world, dictated by the rituals of their order and the strict Rev. Mother (Agata Kulesza, Ida). Fearing the shame of exposure, the hostility of the new anti-Catholic Communist government, and facing an unprecedented crisis of faith, the nuns increasingly turn to Mathilde as their belief and traditions clash with harsh realities.

One of France’s most renowned writer-directors, Anne Fontaine has tackled both social satires and dramas, and is best known for Augustin, Dry Cleaning, How I Killed My Father, and Coco Before Chanel. Lou de Laâge (Mathilde) came to prominence with her breakthrough performance in Mélanie Laurent’s 2014 Breathe. Agata Kulesza (Rev. Mother) played the unforgettable Communist aunt in the 2015 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner Ida (Music Box Films). THE INNOCENTS’ director of cinematography is the acclaimed Caroline Champetier whose work includes Xavier Beauvois’ Of Gods and Men, Leos Carax’ Holy Motors, Margarethe Von Trotta’s Hannah Arendt, and Claude Lanzmann’s The Last of the Unjust.

“A restrained but cumulatively powerful French-Polish drama about the various crises of faith that emerge when a house of God is ravaged by war. Based on the little-known case of the French Red Cross doctor Madeleine Pauliac and the convent to which she ministered, director Anne Fontaine’s finest film in years…notable for the tact, intelligence and fine-grained character detail with which it examines every moral crevice of an unthinkable scenario.  De Laâge… anchors the drama with a calm and assurance that rarely waver.” — Variety, Justin Chang

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