Vision – Aus dem Leben der Hildegard von Bingen * Margarethe von Trotta (2009)

About a year ago we were in Bingen, Germany and of course we visited the local museum with its Hildegard von Bingen exposition. Now there is a film about the life of Hildegard. “Vision” is a rather dull film showing fragments of Hildegard’s life. As a child, Hildegard was admitted to a mixed monastry, in the next fragment she is elected abbess. From an early age, Hilegard had visions, but it takes a long time before she tells monk Volmar, one of the few persons she trusts. Volmar persuades Hildegard to seek recognition for her gift, a request that is agreed upon for worldly reasons only (more pilgrims and more donations that would come with the fame of the cloister). As the years pass, Hildegard develops ideas of her own on varries points and she collides with her abbot, especially when she wants a cloister of her own. Gaining the attention of Berhard of Clairvaux (a mystic himself), the bishop of Mainz and the wealthy mother of her favourite nun Richardis, Hildegard can proceed with her plans. Also she can spend 10 years working on her book with visions.
“Vision” is a fragmented biography of an interesting person. Hildegard is portrayed as a modern woman with broad interests in medicine, philosophy and the like, we hear a few fragments of her visions. Also Hildegard is shown as not completely devoid of earthly emotion. As a film, “Vision” is not very exciting, as a lesson in history, it is alright.

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