107 minutes, Germany, 2014, Subtitled, Colour, D-Cinema

Maria (Lea van Acken) is a devout 14-year-old Catholic girl counting down the days to her confirmation. She is determined to devote her life to Jesus and longs to attain sainthood. Encouraged by her fundamentalist family, and just like Jesus on the road to Golgotha, Maria embarks on a fraught path measured out in 14 stations and leading to her own sacrifice, resolutely resisting being distracted from her course, despite attracting attention from Christian (Moritz Knapp), a boy she meets at school.

Filmmaker Dietrich Brüggemann presents each chapter of Maria’s story in static, single shots, each incident framed impeccably, and it is an arresting and inventive device that serves the intensity of the drama. Stations of the Cross is a rigorous examination of radical faith and devotion, a study of the dangers of unquestioning dogma that is daring, intelligent, and slyly humourous. (Notes by Michael Hayden.)

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