[ English translation] The subject of faith refers to “Men and Gods” (2010) Xavier Beauvois, whose Giannoli is not very far in his approach to an ambitious French auteur cinema. If their approach to the faith is different, the first referring to the assassination of the monks of Tibhirin (1996), Giannoli deals with an apparition of the Virgin Mary, as a fact, as it is documented. The starting point is an investigation launched by the Vatican to determine the veracity of a case of “appearance”. The following is realistic, precise. As at Beauvois.
Veracity and faith rarely go hand in hand. The second is not rational, lived as an inner conviction, the first is an accumulation of evidence. Giannoli’s scenario puts both in the balance. The opportunity to project a form of mysticism in the light of a skeptic (Vincent Lindon), facing the clairvoyant (amazing Galatea Bellugi), a priest (excellent Patrick d’Assumçao), a fanatic (disturbing Anatole Daubman) and to a crowd of pilgrims no less exalted.
Earth time and eternity
Beautiful equation, that all the sobriety of Vincent Lindon serves perfectly. Just like the staging of Xavier Giannoli. The subject, the apparition of the virgin to a witness, is rare in cinema (despite some seven biopics of Bernadette Soubirous); Therese of Lisieux, it is something else (The sublime “Thérèse” of Alain Cavalier). We will also mention “Fellini Roma”, with its long sequence of the appearance of the virgin with two children, rather sulphurous … with which “The Apparition” has connivances in the vision of the fanatics around the visionary child.
“The Apparition” finds this acuity of observation and analysis of Xavier Giannoli of “At the origin”. The filmmaker takes his time to account for earthly time in relation to eternity. He finds this crossroads to express doubt, in a scenario written in chapters, with his digressions (the episode of the icon). A war reporter has just lost his best friend in the field and is facing the afterlife. Beautiful subject, perhaps the main one, a film with drawers. A fair vision, ascetic, honest, and ambitious, in a fiction based on an investigation, so the suspense tense, dramatic, until an effective coup de theater. Pure in more than one way, “The Apparition” raises more questions than it answers: the mark of a work.