When I got this DVD out to review I thought to myself, now how could I review this one. I had no idea who Soeur Sourire was but decided it couldn’t be that bad so I checked it out. Sister Smile is the tragic tale of the woman known as the singing nun.

To quote The Los Angeles Weekly: “Beautifully photographed and full of disturbing surrealism and even more disturbing spirituality (and just a hint of stigmata) …”

Soeur Sourire was a Belgian nun, back in late 1963 that no one knew very much about. She was also known as Sister Smile. She recorded a song titled, Dominique that topped the American charts which sold 1.5 million copies of the album. When I read that I remembered clearly the song and I remember it as a beautiful song at that.

Director Roger Deutsch dug around and found a little about this ill-fated nun’s life. He made this boldly speculative yet persuasive film in which the nun, played by Ginevra Colonna, emerges as a tormented, unstable woman who recorded the music and then she left the convent before taking her final vows as a nun.

She started running a home known as a shelter for wayward runaway girls. A passionate, tumultuous and destructive affair is started with another woman that also used to be a nun, played by Simona Caparrini.

The affair obviously sets off demons causing Sister Smile to go on a flamboyant, drug-fueled downward spiral that threatens to take her lover as well as herself into a world of darkness.

This film is in Italian but has English subtitles. It runs about 95 minutes and you can get your own copy by clicking on the Amazon icon above.

Jan Barrett

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