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Would it be an acceptable conclusion to just say that she got back in the chair because she overdid it and was tired? She hasn't walked it quite a while before the miracle, and there were a few lines about needing to let her body readjust. Or would that kind of gradual healing not be considered a real miracle?

I think it's within the range of permissible interpretations.

To be certified as miraculous, the healing must be dramatic and immediate, but this does not, AFAIK, exclude any transitional expect at all.

The question of how long a miracle needs to last in order to "count" was intriguing, too. I've thought that the mere fact of something impossible happening, regardless of the duration, makes it miraculous, but that isn't the official position given in the film. Would it be okay to interpret a temporary miracle as a glimpse of eternity?

A temporary miracle could not be certified by ecclesiastical authority at Lourdes, but I am 100 percent with you in seeing in even temporary, uncertifiable miracles a sign of God's hand and glimpse of eternity.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

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  • 7 years later...

I watched this for consideration for the 2020 Top 100, and I am a bit floored by that ending (in a good way!). What a provocative, powerful film. I've seen Hausner's Little Joe and Amour Fou, but this is really striking. I'm curious as to the color palette, as the seemingly deliberate choice of the color red appears to suggest something. Really well-crafted from opening to closing shots.

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I thought about nominating this, and I'll rate it high given my appreciation for the film. It's strange that in the interim, Amour Fou has more often plucked at my thoughts. Make of that what you will -- not sure I know what to make of it yet. I suppose Lourdes is a better fit in at least as far as it can be placed in dialogue with other films likely to make the list -- Song of Bernadette, Ordet -- but it also seem more written to a thesis. 

I confess I like that thesis very much...or maybe thesis is too strong since it is an idea rather than a claim...what happens after a miracle? Everyone, including the one who is raised from the dead, dies eventually, so what does it mean in how we think about miracles, who gets them and who doesn't, that individually, all miracles are only reprieves, not deliverance? 

Did I say all? Well, maybe not all...depending on your stance regarding the Easter miracle...but the thing I like about Lourdes more than most movies is that most movies treat miracles as some sort of definitive, final answer about something rather than as signs or pointers to a larger, more universal answer.

Aside--I dig Jon and Andy Erwin as people, and they are better at their jobs (in my opinion) than the lot of creatives at Pure Flix and Sherwood, etc., but putting I Still Believe side by side with Lourdes is...instructive...not just about the artistic talents of their respective directors but about how each narrative thinks about (or doesn't), probes (or doesn't) the nature of miracles. Sort of a difference between proclamation and interrogation.

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