By the end of Alban Teurlai and Thierry Demaiziere’s immersive documentary about Lourdes, you’ll feel like you’ve been to the French town that has become one of the most important religious pilgrimage destinations in the world. What you won’t feel is that you’ve learned very much about the subject. Immersive rather than informative, Lourdes, which recently received its world premiere at Hot Docs, proves as frustrating as it is often deeply moving.
The focus on afflicted individuals provides the film with a strong emotional component, abetted by Pierre Aviat’s powerful musical score. For viewers not already familiar with Lourdes and its history, however, the approach may prove less than satisfying. And the doc’s climactic depiction of what appears to be a minor miracle feels more than a little manipulative.
Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter