BROOKLYN HORROR FILM FESTIVAL: Mother Superior (2022)

Sigrun (Isabella Händler) is working as a nurse for Baroness Heidenreich (Inge Maux), who is dealing with Parkinson’s disease. Why? Well, it turns out that the old woman at one time was the director of an Aryan maternity ward and she may be able to help Sigrun locate her real parents. She soon discovers a secret Third Reich archive but her file is the only one missing. That’s because the Baroness knows who she is — the Valkyrie name is part of why — and she wants Sigrun to join her feminist secret society, the very same one that tried to take power away from Hitler. Oh yeah — they’re also powered by the darkest of occult powers, ones that can show Sigrun exactly how her mother died.

The debut film of director and writer Marie Alice Wolfszahn, this is that most rare of movies: a feminist gothic that has a berserk jazz soundtrack and deals with “völkisch” occultism, one that draws on the pure Aryan blood of Germany, which, yeah, that last part of the sentence made me uncomfortable to write. It’s gorgeous, sure, but man, the imagery of Teutonic tribes hits a little strange in my mind. Maybe I’m just a little sensitive, what with all the all black American flags flying in my neighborhood.

That said — there’s a lot to think about in this film and plenty to stare at. Those dream sequences are something else.

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