The Metropolitan Opera HD Live (2006–…): Season 13, Episode 10 - Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites - full transcript

–Where is Blanche?
–Why don't you ask the servants?

Why burst in here shouting like a savage?

I beg your pardon, Father.

At your age, son,
it's natural to be impulsive.

Just as at my age, one is ruled by habit.

Your uncle's visit earlier
deprived me of my nap, so I was dozing.

Why do you want to see Blanche?

Roger de Damas tried to leave here twice...

but he was turned back
by a mob of peasants.

Rumor has it they'll burn
Reveillon's effigy at his palace.

Let them burn it.

After all,
wine is cheap and it's springtime...

so one expects a few hotheads.

All that will pass.

If I may dare to contradict you, Father...

you may be a poor prophet,
especially about my sister.

Damas saw her carriage surrounded
at the Bucy crossroad!

Yes, the carriage... the crowd... such frightening
visions often haunt my dreams at night.

Today one hears talk of rebellion,
even of revolution.

But you haven't seen anything
until you've seen a mob panic.

All those faces, their twisted mouths,
those thousands of eyes....

I remember the evening
of the Dauphin's wedding.

The fireworks had begun
and suddenly some caught fire.

The crowd panicked.

Your mother locked her coach,
and the driver whipped the horses forward.

The mob stopped the coach
and smashed a window!

The soldiers arrived just in time.

Later that night, here in this house...

your mother died,
after giving birth to Blanche.

Pardon me, I should have known better.

Once again, I've spoken like a fool.

I must be getting old...
I'm as agitated as you.

My carriage is sturdy.
My horses aren't afraid of anything.

Antoine has been here twenty years.
Your sister will be perfectly safe.

It's not her safety that worries me.

It's her morbid imagination.

Blanche is just impressionable.
A happy marriage is all she needs.

After all, a pretty girl has a right
to be a little nervous.

Be patient.

You'll have nephews as
wild as little devils.

It's not only fear that threatens
Blanche's health, perhaps her life.

Some curse gnaws at her heart.

You talk like a superstitious fool.

Blanche seems normal enough,
sometimes even playful.

She can fool even me, making me
believe disaster has been averted...

until I see the affliction in her eyes.

Blanche will be back any minute.

Then you'll laugh at your fears,
and she'll forget her own.

You mean that once again she's only
had a little fright, nothing more?

When it concerns Blanche,
the word "fright" makes me tremble.

She is such a noble and proud young woman.

Yet fear is destroying her,
as the worm destroys the fruit.

What nonsense!

Blanche, your brother was
very anxious about your return.

My brother is much too
kind to his little rabbit.

Don't keep using a name that
makes sense only to the two of us.

Rabbits aren't used to spending
time away from their nest.

It's true I was travelling in my own cage.

But there was only a window between
the crowd and my terrified self.

At the time,
it didn't seem like much protection.

I must have looked ridiculous.

Damas saw you there, at the Bucy crossroad.

He told me you looked perfectly calm
behind your window.

Oh, Damas saw only what he wanted to see.

Really, I seemed calm?

My God, danger is like
plunging into icy water.

At first it takes your breath away.

Then it becomes quite comfortable,
once you're in up to your neck.

The ceremony at the convent
was so long, it left me exhausted.

That must be why I'm talking nonsense.

And now, with your permission, Father,
I'll go and rest before dinner.

How dark it is so early!

I'd say a storm is threatening.

Before you go upstairs, ask for candles.

And don't stay by yourself. I know that
twilight always makes you melancholy.

When you were little, you used to say:

"I die every night,
to be born again every morning."

There has been only one such morning...

that of Easter.

But every night of one's life
is like the agony of Christ

Her imagination goes from
one extreme to the other.

What did she mean just now?

It doesn't matter.
Her look and voice shatter my heart.

The horses must be unhitched by now.
I'll go question old Antoine.

Is that you, Thierry?

What is happening?

I was lighting the candles
when Mademoiselle Blanche came in.

I think my shadow on
the wall frightened her.

I had just drawn the curtains.

I'm glad it was nothing serious.

You're the kindest and
most indulgent of fathers.

Let's forget this little incident.

Father, even the smallest incident
is caused by the will of God.

Just as all the immensity of
heaven is in a drop of water.

With your permission,
I want to join the order of the Carmelites.

You, a Carmelite!

I think my decision surprises you
less than you care to admit.

Alas, one must be concerned about
a maiden as virtuous as my daughter...

when she is driven by
such impassioned devotion.

A young woman less proud
would not be so disturbed by a cry.

She wouldn't renounce
the world out of spite.

I don't scorn the world.

But I don't know how to live
in such a strange and disturbing place.

Physically, I can't bear the
world's noise and agitation.

If my nerves were less strained,
you'd see what I am capable of.

Only your conscience can decide
if the struggle is unbearable for you.

Father, let's end this game.

Let me seek a remedy for the weakness
that makes me despair.

I must hope that heaven is guiding my fate.

I'd die of shame here at your feet.

You may be right that perhaps
I have not tried hard enough.

But God won't hold that against me.

I sacrifice everything for Him.
I abandon everything.

I renounce everything, so that
He may bestow His grace upon me.

Do not think that this chair
is a privilege of my position...

like the footstool of a duchess.

My dear daughters insist on it,
and I try to appreciate such comfort.

But it isn't easy to revive
habits I discarded long ago.

What should be a luxury for me
is a humiliating necessity.

It must be sweet to have travelled
so far on the road of detachment...

that you are never
tempted to go back again.

My child, it is habit alone
that can free us from everything.

But what good is it for a nun
to be freed from everything...

if she is not also freed from
her own sense of detachment from life?

I see the rigors of our
order do not frighten you.

They appeal to me.

Ah, yes... you have a generous soul.

What has drawn you to the Carmelites?

Does Your Reverence command me
to speak with total frankness?

The search for a heroic life.

A heroic life?

Perhaps you search, mistakenly,
for a certain way of living.

One that makes it easy to be heroic...
which places heroism in your hands.

Reverend Mother, pardon me,
I never made such calculations.

Our most dangerous calculations
are those we call illusions.

If I do have illusions,
I ask to be stripped of them.

You shall be stripped of them!

There's one more thing you should
know, my child.

Everyone here is already much
too involved in her own illusions.

My daughter, people of goodwill
ask what it is we serve.

And after all,
they are right to ask us that.

Our order does not seek
to mortify the soul, or to preserve virtue.

We are a house of prayer.

Prayer alone justifies our existence.

To those who do not believe in prayer...

we are impostors and parasites.

If belief in God is universal,
should not the same be true for prayer?

Each prayer, even that of a little shepherd
who tends his flock...

is the prayer of all mankind.

When the little shepherd prays,
he is prompted by his heart.

That is what we must do, day and night.

The Carmelites do not lean
toward tenderness and pity.

But I am old and ill, and very near my end.

I can allow myself to pity you.

Great trials await you, my daughter.

What matter, if God gives me strength?

What He wants to test is
not your strength but your weakness.

You are weeping?

I am weeping in joy, not sorrow.
Your words are harsh...

but even if they were harsher,
I would still be drawn to you.

I have no other refuge.

Our order is not a refuge.
It does not protect us, my daughter.

It is we who protect the order.

Have you chosen the name
you will take as a Carmelite...

if you are admitted as a novice?

You must have already considered this.

I have.

I would like the name
Sister Blanche of the Agony of Christ.

Go in peace, my daughter.

Those cursed beans again!

They say the merchants are hoarding flour.
Soon Paris won't have bread.

Here's the iron that's
been missing for so long!

Look, the handle has been
covered with flannel.

Now Sister Jeanne won't cry out
while blowing on her burned fingers...

"Blast! It's impossible to
work with such an iron!"

I have to bite my tongue
to keep from laughing.

That word "blast" reminds me
of the villagers of Tilly.

Oh! Sister Blanche...

Six weeks before I came here,
we celebrated my brother's wedding.

All the peasants had gathered.

Twenty young girls presented him
with flowers, as violins played.

We heard Mass, dined at the palace,
and danced all day.

I danced five country jigs and adored it.

Those good, simple people loved me
because I was merry and danced well.

Aren't you ashamed to chatter on,
while our Reverend Mother....

I'd gladly give my worthless little life
to save our Mother.

Yes, I swear, I truly would.

But really, when one is
59, isn't it time to die?

You were never afraid of death?

I don't think so.
Perhaps long ago...

when I didn't know what death was.

And then?

Heavens! Sister Blanche, I realized life
seemed so amusing to me.

I told myself that death must be
so, as well.

And now?

Now I no longer think about death.

Life still seems amusing.

I try to do what I'm
told, as well as I can.

But what I'm told to do amuses me!

After all, am I to blame
if serving the good Lord amuses me?

Aren't you afraid God
will tire of so much good humor?

Pardon me, Sister Blanche.

I can't help thinking you
intentionally want to hurt me.

You're right. I envy you.

You envy me? I can't believe it.

That's the strangest thing I ever heard.

Clearly, I should be punished for taking
our Reverend Mother's death so lightly.

Oh, Sister Blanche,
I spoke stupidly just now.

Help me atone for it.

Let's pray.

We will offer up both of
our humble lives for Reverend Mother.

That's so childish.

Not at all. I think it's an inspiration
right from the soul.

You're making fun of me.

The idea of dying for her
just occurred to me now.

I've always wanted to die young.

Why are you telling me this nonsense?

It's strange. The first time I saw you,
I knew my wish had been granted.

What wish? Put down
that ridiculous iron and answer me.

I always knew that God would
have mercy and not let me grow old.

And that we would die
together on the same day.

Where and how, I didn't know.
And I still don't know.

What an insane, stupid idea!

You should be ashamed to believe
your life could redeem anyone else.

You're as proud as the devil himself.
I forbid you to continue!

I never meant to offend you.

Be kind enough to raise this pillow.

Do you think Doctor Javelinot
will let me sit in the chair?

It's very painful to have
my daughters see me so helpless...

like a drowning woman who has
just been pulled from the water.

And this, while I am still
capable of thinking clearly.

It's not that I want to deceive anyone.

But when courage fails,
one can at least keep one's composure.

Mother, I thought your pain
had lessened last night.

It was only a lethargy within my soul.

Thank God, though,
I no longer felt I was dying.

"To see yourself die..."
that's a phrase country people use.

It's true, I am watching myself die,
with nothing to distract me!

I'm alone, absolutely alone,
without any consolation.

Tell me honestly,
how long does the doctor think I will live?

He says your constitution
is the strongest he's seen.

He is afraid you'll have
a long and difficult passing.

But God....

God has become a shadow.

Alas, I've been a nun for thirty years
and Mother Superior for twelve.

I've been meditating on
death every hour of my life.

And now it does me no good at all.

Blanche de la Force is very late today.

Has she decided to keep
the name she has chosen?

If it pleases you, she wants to be called
Blanche of the Agony of Christ.

You seem deeply moved by her choice.

It is the same name I chose.

Our Mother Superior then was
Madame Arnoult. She was 80 years old.

She told me, "Search your heart.
Who enters Gethsemane never leaves."

"Have you the courage to forever be
a prisoner of the Holy Agony?"

It was I who brought Sister Blanche
of the Agony of Christ into our house.

Of all my daughters, none worries me more.

I've thought I should
recommend her to your kindness.

If God permits, that will be
my last act as Mother Superior.

Mother Marie....

Reverend Mother?

In the name of obedience,
I now entrust to you Blanche de la Force.

You shall answer for her before God.

You will need great firmness
of judgment and character.

That is precisely what she lacks
and what you have in abundance.

You see me clearly, as always.

She is here. Have her come in.

Rise, my child.

I'd hoped to have a long talk with you.

But the conversation I just had
has left me exhausted.

You were the last to come here,
and therefore, the closest to my heart.

You are the dearest to me,
like the child of one's old age...

because you are the
most exposed to danger.

To avoid that danger,
I would have gladly given my poor life.

Yes, gladly....

Now all I can give is my death,
a very humble death....

God gains glory through His saints,
His heroes, and His martyrs...

and also through the poor.

I do not fear poverty.

There are many kinds of poverty,
down to the most miserable sort.

And that is what you will
suffer in the extreme.

No matter what happens,
hold on to your simplicity.

Be ever sweet and pliant
in the hands of God.

Even the saints had to
struggle against temptation.

Yet, they would not rebel
against their own natures.

Rebellion is always the devil's work.
Never have contempt for yourself.

God has taken charge of your honor,
and it is safer in His hands than in yours.

Rise now, this one last time.

Goodbye. I bless you.

Doctor Javelinot, I beg you,
give me another dose of medicine.

Your Reverence cannot endure more.

It is customary for a Mother Superior
to bid farewell to her daughters.

Mother Marie,
try to convince Doctor Javelinot.

One elixir or another, it doesn't matter.

Oh, Mother, look....

How can I show such a face to my daughters?

You should no longer concern
yourself with us. Only with God.

In the misery of this hour,
how can I concern myself with Him?

Let Him concern himself with me!

Your Reverence is delirious!

Shut the window. Our Reverend Mother
is not responsible for what she says.

It would be best not to scandalize anyone.

Sister Anne of the Cross,
don't faint like a silly weakling!

On your knees and pray!
That will help more than smelling salts.

Mother Marie of the Incarnation!

Your Reverence?

I saw our chapel empty and desecrated.

The altar was split, and straw and
blood covered the floor stones.

God is forsaking us!
God is abandoning us!

Your Reverence has lost
control of her tongue.

But I beg you, say nothing that might be–

Say nothing!

What does it matter?
I can't control what I say or how I look!

Anguish sticks to my skin like a wax mask.

If only I could tear off this
mask with my fingernails!

Inform your sisters they will not
see the Reverend Mother today.

At ten o'clock they will
have recreation as usual.

Mother Marie of the Incarnation,
in the name of obedience, I order you....

Our Reverend Mother asks
you to be by her bed.

This is madness.
No one should be permitted....

Beg forgiveness.
Death... fear....

Fear of death!

Our Reverend Mother wishes....

Our Reverend Mother wished....

She would have wished....

You who brought Lazarus
back from the grave...

grant them rest, O
Lord, and forgiveness.

You who judge the living,
the dead, and the world by fire...

grant them rest, O
Lord, and forgiveness.

Where are you going?
Isn't this your vigil?

The hour is already over, Mother.

Are your replacements
already in the chapel?

Sister Constance went to look for them.

So you became frightened.

I didn't think it was
wrong to go to the door.

My child, you may leave.

One cannot remedy a task left undone.

How upset you are!

The night is cool. You're trembling
less from fear than from the cold.

I'll take you back to your cell myself.

And don't brood about this little incident.

Go to bed, make the sign of the
cross, and sleep.

I excuse you from all other prayers.

Tomorrow your error will bring you
more sorrow than shame.

Then you will be able to ask
God's forgiveness without offending Him.

Sister Blanche, our cross is so large,
and our Mother's grave is so small.

What will we do with all
the leftover flowers?

We'll make a bouquet for
the new Mother Superior.

I wonder if Mother Marie of the Incarnation
likes flowers.

Oh, how I hope....

That she likes flowers?

No, Sister Blanche.

I hope she is appointed Mother Superior.

You always think God will act
according to your wishes.

Why not? What we call chance
may be the logic of God.

Think of the death of our dear Mother.

Who would have believed
she'd have such trouble dying?

Perhaps the good Lord made a mistake
in giving her such a death.

Just as in a cloakroom,
when they give you the wrong coat.

Maybe her death was meant for another.
It was a death too small for her...

so small that the sleeves
barely came down to her elbows.

Death meant for another?

Tell me what that means.

Perhaps someone else
at the hour of death...

will slip her death on easily
and feel comfortable in it.

We don't die for ourselves
but for one another.

Or sometimes, instead of one another.

Who knows?

My dear daughters,
we have suffered a great loss.

Our dear Mother has left us when
her presence is most sorely needed.

Without a doubt, our days of
well-being and tranquility are over.

We forget all too easily that
we have no assurance against pain.

And that we are always in the hands of God.

What we will experience
in the coming days, I do not know.

I await the will of Sainted Providence.

I ask only those modest blessings
that the rich and powerful scorn.

Goodwill, patience,
and a spirit of conciliation.

These are virtues most befitting
humble women like us.

There are many kinds of courage.

A king's valor is not for the humble.

It would not enable them to survive.

The servant has little to envy
in the virtues of his master.

They are no more necessary than
precious herbs are to a field rabbit.

We are humble women
gathered to pray to God.

Let us distrust everything that
might turn us away from prayer.

Let us also distrust martyrdom.

Prayer is a duty.
Martyrdom is a reward.

What if a king asked a servant girl
to join him on his throne...

as though she were a beloved wife?

She would do better
not to believe her eyes and ears...

and to go on polishing the furniture.

Forgive me for speaking so plainly...

without formality.

Mother Marie, will you have
the final word on this subject?

Sisters, Her Reverence has explained
that our first duty is prayer.

So let us obey her wishes, not only
with our lips, but with our hearts.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

the Lord is with you.

Blessed are you among women...

and blessed is the
fruit of your womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God...

pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

–Who is here?
–A man on horseback.

He wishes to see the Reverend Mother.

–Where is he?
–He's at the back gate.

Let us assume he is a friend, not an enemy.

We will see him, Mother.

Mother, it is Monsieur de la Force.
He wishes to see his sister.

He is about to leave the country.

Call Sister Blanche. Under the
circumstances, we will bend our rules.

I would like you to be
present at their meeting.

If Your Reverence will permit me....

You, Mother Marie, and no one else!

Why do you lower your eyes?
Why do you turn away from me?

Is this the welcome one
should give to a brother?

God knows I have no wish
to cause you any distress.

Blanche, our father feels
you are no longer safe here.

Perhaps I am not, but I feel safe.
That is enough for me.

How different you sound now.

There is something constrained
and unnatural in your manner.

If I appear constrained,
it's only because I am uncomfortable.

I'm not yet accustomed to living
in happiness and freedom.

You may be happy,
but you are certainly not free.

It is not in your power
to rise above nature.

Do you believe the life of a Carmelite
conforms to the laws of nature?

In times like these,
many privileged women would envy you.

They would gladly change places with you.

I am speaking to you harshly, Blanche...

because I am thinking of our father,
alone, among his servants.

Do you think I am kept here by fear?

Or by your fear of fear?
One fear is no more honorable than another.

You must risk fear just as you risk death.

True courage is in taking the risk.

I am here only as the humble victim
of the will of Almighty God.

When I first came in, you looked
as if you would collapse.

I thought I glimpsed, for one second,
all of our childhood.

The awkwardness of this situation
has led us to the brink of a quarrel.

Have they changed my little rabbit?

Why must you always try to fill me
with doubt? It is like a poison!

I almost died of that poison.
Now I'm another person, it's true.

You're no longer afraid of anything?

Where I am, nothing can harm me.

Well then, goodbye, my dearest.

Don't let us part with bitterness.

Alas, though you have always
treated me with compassion...

you still cannot grant me
the simple respect you'd give any friend.

Blanche, now it's you
who are speaking harshly.

I have only tender affection for you.

But I'm no longer that little rabbit.

I am a daughter of Carmel.

One who will suffer for you.

I only ask that you think of me
as your companion in battle.

For we are going into battle,
each in his own way.

And mine has its risks and perils,
just as yours does.

Compose yourself, Sister Blanche.

Oh, Mother, did I lie?
Do I not know who I am?

I couldn't bear their pity any longer.
May God forgive me.

Their indulgence sickened my soul.
Will I always be but a child to them?

Come... it is time for us to go.

I was proud, and I shall be punished.

There is only one way to humble your pride.
Rise above it.

Have courage.

My dear daughters, you may have heard
what I'm about to tell you.

I have been relieved of my duties
and have been banished.

The Mass I just said is my last.

The house of God is empty.

Today I share in the fate of
our early Christian fathers.

Today is a great day for Carmel.

Goodbye. I bless you.

Let us pray together.

Hail, true body, born of the Virgin Mary.

You suffered and were sacrificed
on the cross for mankind.

You, from whose pierced side
water and blood flowed...

be a foretaste for us
in the trial of death.

O sweet Jesus!

O merciful Jesus!

O Jesus, son of Mary.

What will become of you?

I'll be nothing more than
what I am at this moment... an outcast.

But if the rumors are true,
they'll kill you if they recognize you.

Perhaps they will not recognize me.

–Will you disguise yourself?

Those are our orders.

Dear Sister Blanche, your imagination
is always too quickly excited.

My dear child, don't worry.

I'll remain near this house.

I'll come here as often as possible.

Who would believe they'd persecute
priests in a Christian country?

Are the French such cowards now?

They're afraid. And they pass
their fear from one to another.

Like cholera or plague
in times of epidemic.

Perhaps fear really is an illness.

Will no good Frenchmen come to
the defense of our priests?

When we have too few priests,
we have a great many martyrs.

And the balance of grace
is therefore restored.

I feel the Holy Ghost has spoken
through our Reverend Mother.

For France to again have priests...

the daughters of Carmel
have only to give their lives.

You did not hear me correctly,
Mother Marie. Or you misunderstood me.

It is not for us to decide if our names
will be included as martyrs.

–Someone is ringing.
–Go at once and check the gate.

I was trapped between
the mob and the soldiers.

I had no other choice but to come here.

Stay with us, Father.

That would only endanger you.
I must leave.

When the crowd reaches the city hall,
the streets will be empty.


I've waited too long. What will
become of you if they find me here?

Open the door!

No, we won't!

Open the door, my daughter.

You are the Carmelites?

Yes, we are.

It's our duty to ensure you understand
the details of your expulsion.

That depends upon you alone.

"Hear the decree of the legislative
assembly of August 17, 1792."

"By October 1, all houses still occupied
by religious orders..."

"must be evacuated by
said religious orders."

"The houses will be put up for sale
by the administrative authorities."

Do you wish to make any claim?

What can we claim,
when nothing has been left to us?

But we will need suitable clothes...

since we are now
forbidden to wear these.

So you're anxious to take off those
rags and dress like everybody else?

It's not the uniform
that makes the soldier.

Our clothes do not matter.
We shall always be servants.

The people do not need servants.

But they need martyrs,
and that is a service we can provide.

In times like these,
it means nothing to die.

It means nothing to live,
if life's values are held in ridicule.

Then life has no more value
than your paper money.

Those words could cost you dearly
if you say them to anyone else.

Do you think I'm a bloodthirsty beast?
I used to be a sacristan.

The vicar was like my brother.

But now I must howl with the wolves!

Forgive me, but I must ask
for proof of your goodwill.

I'll lead the police
officers and the patrol away.

Only workmen will stay until tonight.

But don't trust Blancard, the blacksmith.

He's an informer.

Our Reverend Mother is
coming to say goodbye.

She must go to Paris.

Sister Blanche, every Christmas Eve
we carry our little king to each cell.

I hope he will give you courage.

Oh, he's so small... so frail.

He may be small, but he is powerful.

The little king is dead.

There is nothing left to
us but the Lamb of God.

Speak to them, Father.

They are fully prepared
for what is to come.

It is not my duty to speak to them.

In the absence of the Reverend Mother,
you should speak to the community.

My daughters, I propose that together
we take the vow of martyrdom...

to preserve our order and
the health of our country.

I'm glad to see that you view this
as reluctantly as I proposed it.

If we offer our humble lives, we have
no illusion as to what they are worth.

What exactly does this vow commit us to?

The trouble with these special vows
is that they may create disagreements.

They may even go against our conscience.

That is why I have always believed...

we should recognize the
opportunity such a vow offers.

If even one of you opposes it,
I shall renounce it at once.

We should decide this by a secret vote.

Our confessor will hear each answer
under the seal of the sacrament.

Does that satisfy you, my Mother?

At least it sets our minds at rest.

Tell me your vote as you pass.

I wager there will be one voice against it.

There was only one opposing vote.

That is enough.

We know who it was!

It was I!
Father knows I speak the truth.

But now I swear that I
agree with all of you.

I would like you to let me take this vow.

I beg you in the name of the good Lord.

You may do so.
Join your companions.

You will come to me, two by two.

Mother Marie, open the holy Gospel.

First the youngest.

Sisters Blanche and Constance, please.

Citizens, we congratulate you
on your discipline and patriotism.

But we warn you that the nation
still has its eyes upon you.

No more living in communities,
or dealing with enemies of the Republic.

Or with insubordinate priests,
henchmen of the Pope, or tyrants.

In ten minutes, you will appear
before the court one by one...

to receive a certificate granting
you the blessings of liberty...

under the surveillance of the law.

We must warn the priest.
We agreed he would come to say Mass today.

But now it would be too
dangerous for him, and for us.

Don't you agree, Mother Marie?

I rely on Your Reverence to determine
what I should believe from now on.

Perhaps I was wrong to act as I did.
Even so, what's done is done.

But how can we respect the spirit
of our vow with all this caution?

Each one of you will answer
for her vow before God.

But it is I who must answer for all of you.

And I am old enough
to keep my accounts in order.

–It's you...
–I've come to get you. It is time.

I'm not free to go with you now.

But sometime later... perhaps.

Not sometime later, but right now.
In a few days, it will be too late.

Too late for what?

For your safety.

Would you say I would be safer with you?

With us, you run less of
a risk than here, Blanche.

I don't believe you.

In times like these,
where could I be safer?

Who would think of looking
for me as a servant?

Death is only visited upon the powerful.

But I feel so exhausted, Mother Marie.

My stew is burning. It's your fault!
My God, what will become of me?

Don't torment yourself, Blanche.

Look, no harm was done.

Why are you crying?

I'm weeping because you're so kind.
But also because I'm ashamed.

I want everyone to leave me in peace
and never think about me again.

Why must everyone reproach me?
What harm did I ever do?

I did not sin against God.
Fear is no sin against God.

I was born in fear.
I lived in it, and I still do.

Everyone has contempt for fear,
so they have contempt for me as well.

I've thought this for a long time.

The only person who could keep me
from saying it was my father.

He is dead.

They guillotined him a few days ago.

Here, in his own house,
I was unworthy of him and his name.

The only role for me now
is that of a miserable servant.

Yesterday they slapped me!

The real misfortune, my daughter,
is not to be held in contempt...

but to have contempt for yourself.

Sister Blanche of the Agony of Christ!

I will give you a name and address.
Remember it.

Mademoiselle Rose Ducor, 2 rue Saint-Denis.

You'll be safe at her home.

I'll wait for you there
until tomorrow night.

I won't go. I can't go there.

You will go.
I know you will, my child.

Blanche! Come at once!

My daughters, we have survived
our first night in prison.

It was most difficult.
Yet we reached the end of it.

Soon we'll be used to our new situation.

After all, it's not so new for us.

It's only a change of scene.

No one can rob us of the freedom
we surrendered long ago.

My daughters, in my absence,
you took the vow of martyrdom.

Whether it was wise or not...

God would not want such a generous
act to trouble your conscience.

Well, I also take the vow.
From now on, I shall be bound by it.

I shall be the only judge
of how this vow is fulfilled.

I take up the burden,
and leave you the glory...

since I did not initiate it myself.

Do not trouble yourselves about it anymore.

I have always been ready
to answer for you in this world.

And today I have no desire
to avoid whatever may come.

Set your minds at rest.

While Your Reverence is here,
we have no further fear.

In the garden of Gethsemane,
Christ was no longer master.

He knew the fear of death.

What became of Sister Blanche?

I know no more about that
than you, my little daughter.

She will come back.

How can you be so
certain, Sister Constance?

Well, because...

because of a dream I had.

"The Revolutionary Tribunal condemns
these former Carmelite nuns..."

"residing in Compiègne,
in the province of Oise."

"Madeleine Lidoine,
Anne Pellerat, Madeleine Touret..."

"Marie-Anne Piedcourt, Marie-Anne
Brideau, Marie-Cyprienne Brare..."

"Angélique Roussel, Marie-Gabrielle
Trézelle, Marie-Geneviève Meunier..."

"Catherine Soiron, Thérèse
Soiron, Elizabeth Vezolot."

"They held counter-revolutionary
and illegal secret assemblies."

"They engaged in fanatical writing,
opposed to liberty."

"They constitute a group of rebels."

"They are seditious, and nourish
in their hearts one criminal hope."

"To see the people of France again
in the chains of tyrants..."

"and to see liberty
drowned in rivers of blood."

"They carried out their treachery
in the name of heaven."

"The Revolutionary Tribunal therefore
declares that all the women named..."

"are condemned to death."

My daughters, with all my heart,
I had hoped to save you...

to spare you this fearful sacrifice.

I have loved you since I first saw you,
like a true mother.

And what mother would sacrifice her
children, even for the king himself?

If I acted in error,
that is for God to decide.

You are my treasure.

And I am not one to throw
my riches out of the window!

My daughters, I solemnly swear you
to obedience one last time.

My maternal blessing is upon you.

They've been condemned to death.

–All of them?
–Yes, all of them.

It will certainly be today or tomorrow.

What are you doing?

I want to be with them in their final hour.

What you wish is of no importance.

God chooses or sets aside as He pleases.

I took the vow of martyrdom.

You swore it to God. You must answer
to Him and not to your companions.

If God releases you from your vow,
He only takes back what belongs to Him.

I am disgraced!

Their last gaze will seek me in vain.

Think only of His gaze,
and fasten your own upon Him.

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy...

our life, our sweetness, and our hope.

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy...

our life, our sweetness, and our hope.

To thee do we cry,
poor banished children of Eve.

To you we sigh, mourning and weeping...

in this valley of tears.

Turn, then, most gracious Advocate...

those merciful eyes toward us.

And after our exile, show us unto Jesus...

the blessed fruit of thy womb.

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Now to the Father and the Son...

who rose from death, be glory given...

with Thou, O Holy Comforter...

henceforth by all
in earth and in heaven.