Matt Thomas talks to the director of Stations Of The Cross.
With Stations of the Cross, director Dietrich Brüggemann has created a formidable film that is both indicting and ironically serene in its depiction of Maria, a young Catholic fundamentalist preparing for confirmation, and her journey as she attempts to walk the path to sainthood. Speaking to Brüggemann, who is on the phone from Germany, I mention that the use of the term ‘enjoy’ might not be appropriate for a film of this nature, to which he replies “Enjoy might not be precisely the right term. Of course, I tried to make the film as entertaining as possible, but not in a joyful way, more like entertaining as the opposite of boring.”
In that case, the film is an incredible success. Despite it’s heavy subject matter, it never fails to keep you engrossed. This is partly due to the bold choice of telling the story using 14 single shot scenes, one for each of the 14 Stations of the Cross – the 14 stations that Jesus goes through as he carries the cross to his crucifixion. On adapting an old bible story for a contemporary setting, the director (who co-wrote the film with his sister, Anna) says: “I think the truth behind that is that all legends, church rituals, bible stories, even fairytales and nursery rhymes are all [constructed of] traditional narrative. I think there’s always some deeper human truth in them that we can all relate to, so it was actually quite easy to shape that story to those 14 stations.”