Margarethe von Trotta’s heroines often embrace confinement as part and parcel of their search for fulfillment, whether a terrorist underground in 1975’s “The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum,” as political dissidents, or the barriers of a hidden family past (“Rosenstrasse,” 2003), or even her glowing, widescreen view from a pair of monasteries in “Vision: From The Life Of Hildegard von Bingen.” The luminous center of the writer-director’s portrait of the long-lived twelfth-century nun and mystic (1098-1179) is Barbara Sukowa (“Berlin Alexanderplatz,” “Lola”), who captures characteristics both mercurial and steadfast. Cinematographer Axel Block’s work draws deeply from painterly effects, notably in an apparent close study of Vermeer’s compelling interior light, with the placement of windows in iconic formations where afternoon is as bold as noon. With Heino Ferch, Hannah Herzsprung, Alexander Held, Lena Stolze, Sunnyi Melles, Stella Holzapfel. 111m. Widescreen. (Ray Pride)
“Vision: From The Life Of Hildegard Von Bingen” opens Friday at the Music Box.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His multimedia history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” will be published soon. Previews of the project are on Twitter and on Instagram as Ghost Signs Chicago. More photography on Instagram.