Jean-Luc Godard’s Hail Mary: Women and the Sacred in Film

Cover for Jean-Luc Godard's Hail Mary: Women and the Sacred in Film
  • Year: 1993
  • Publisher: SIU Press

Maryel Locke and Charles Warren present twelve original essays by film critics, filmmakers, theologians, and philosophers that examine the 1985 film Hail Mary, directed by Jean-Luc Godard, and its companion film, The Book of Mary, directed by Anne-Marie Miéville. (The films are collectively released under the title Hail Mary.) The interpretative essays offer a rich spectrum of analysis and opinion representing many divergent points of view about critical theory, the status of women, and the value of film as a medium. Locke and Warren also include two important interviews with Godard, brief biographies and complete filmographies of Godard and Miéville, a short breakdown of the two films including the English subtitles, and the script of the French dialogue to complete a remarkably comprehensive treatment of this important film. The only film based on the biblical story of the Virgin Mary, Godard’s Hail Mary is a contemporary Swiss/French representation of Mary’s virgin pregnancy, the birth of her son, and her relationship with Joseph and her young child. Miéville’s companion film is about a young girl named Mary whose parents get a divorce. While neither film is overtly religious, the initial release of Hail Mary brought public protests, court cases, a physical attack on Godard, and condemnation by the Pope.

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