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Black Narcissus

Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger | 1947 | 101 MINS
UK
A group of nuns struggle to establish a convent in the Himalayas, while isolation, extreme weather, altitude, and culture clashes all conspire to drive the well-intentioned missionaries mad.

In Detail

A group of Anglican nuns, led by Sister Clodagh (Deborah Kerr), are sent to a mountain in the Himalayas.

The climate in the region is hostile and the nuns are housed in an odd old palace. They work to establish a school and a hospital, but slowly their focus shifts. Sister Ruth (Kathleen Byron) falls for a government worker, Mr Dean (David Farrar), and begins to question her vow of celibacy.

As Sister Ruth obsesses over Mr Dean, Sister Clodagh becomes immersed in her own memories of love.

It is a landmark film with bold colours and enormous landscapes, about tension and eroticism boiling beneath the façades.

Screening as part of Cinema Unbound: The Creative Worlds of Powell + Pressburger, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network.
See also:
I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING
POWELL & PRESSBURGER TALK
THE RED SHOES

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