Fathom Events, in partnership with Bosco Films and Distrib Films US, announces the U.S. debut of Lourdes, coming to over 700 theaters nationwide on February 8 and 9. The documentary tells the compelling stories of six fragile pilgrims each in search of a miracle at Our Lady of Lourdes, a sanctuary in the south of France that has drawn thousands of travelers daily since the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1858.
While numerous made-for-television dramas, feature films, and special reports have been made about the grotto in the breathtakingly beautiful mountain town, Lourdes is the first and only documentary to take a closer look at the pilgrims.
The film’s directors, Thierry Demaizère and Alban Teurlai, were inspired to pursue the project after listening to an account of a friend who had recently visited Lourdes. “To our great surprise, there has not been a film made about the pilgrims, nothing that follows their steps–why they come, what they expect, what Our Lady represents for them,” observed Demaizère and Teurlai. “We knew immediately that this was a story that needed to be told and can’t wait for people to see it in theaters.”
The pilgrims profiled in the documentary, along with their caregivers, represent an interesting cross-section of humanity– accident victims, the terminally ill, an overweight and bullied teenager, and more. They all offer an alchemy of suffering, hope, and joy, from diverse backgrounds of religious faith in the face of profound tribulation.
Dr. Alessandro de Franciscis, MD, a devout Catholic and a practicing physician for more than 40 years, is featured in bonus content that exclusively accompanies the theatrical release of Lourdes in the U.S. As the President of the Lourdes Office of Medical Observations since 2009, he is tasked with overseeing the medical analyses of alleged cures for those who drink and get washed of the waters of Lourdes – evaluating them according to a rubric that is both rigorous and rational.
“While only 70 cases to date have been declared miraculous by the church, more than 7,000 cases of unexplained cures have been investigated medically and scientifically. There is a vulnerable human person behind every one of these cases, and Lourdes fixes its gaze at some of these remarkable stories,” notes Dr. de Franciscis. “In the face of such suffering in terms of sickness, handicap, and deformity, audiences will see that there is also joy. The liturgies and daily processions at Lourdes are signs of this and of our communion as Catholics, as disciples of Jesus and common sons and daughters of his Mother.”
Nominated for Best Documentary at the César Awards of the French Film Academy and at the prestigious DOCVILLE Awards, Lourdes can be seen in French with English subtitles on February 8 and in Spanish with English subtitles on February 9.
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