World War II is finally over, and doctor Mathilde (rising star Lou de Laage) is treating the last of the French survivors of Nazi work camps in Poland. When a panicked Benedictine nun appears at the clinic 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 occupying Soviet troops and local Polish communists the nuns increasingly turn to Mathilde as they face an unprecedented crisis of faith. Director Fontaine based her story on the diaries of Madeleine Pauliac that document the little known but, my most independent accounts, widespread sexual violence that occurred throughout Poland and elsewhere on the Eastern Front in the wake of the advancing Soviet Red Army.
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