Marie Heurtin (2014) Movie Script

This story is inspired by real events
in France in the late 19th century.
Welcome, my lovely.
You're very pretty.
- What?
- Come and see.
You watch her.
Who is it?
How did she get up there?
She climbs trees
when we're not looking.
- How do you get her down?
- We wait till she comes down.
Sister Marguerite,
how are you feeling today?
Very well.
Then climb up there
and bring that young girl down.
Bring her down!
We educate young deaf girls,
not blind and deaf.
We couldn't look
after her properly.
What can I do?
Only the asylum will have her.
I'm sorry.
May 10.
Today I met a soul.
A tiny little soul, quite fragile.
An imprisoned soul
that I saw shine brightly
through her prison bars.
I had thought
she was a savage,
a little animal.
But she was waiting
for me in that tree.
The girl is locked in a world
of darkness and silence.
How can we talk to her?
Listen to her?
What is it like to live in
total darkness and silence?
That's good.
Education wasn't my choice
and I do like manual work,
but I met this young girl
and can't stop thinking about her.
- You have never taught deaf girls.
- I speak their language.
Getting them to break the
silence is another matter.
- And she's blind.
- Let me try.
I had a revelation.
A revelation?
No, not a revelation.
I mean...
Just an idea.
A simple idea.
Unless I'm wrong,
my mission is to look after her.
To give her speech so
she may enter the world.
I listened. You asked a question.
The answer is no.
Thank you, Mother.
But she can't stay locked
in her prison!
Someone must teach her to talk.
- How?
- Sign language.
She's blind!
I'll make signs in her hand.
It's from birth.
Her intelligence has shriveled.
If it's intact, she must suffer
from being imprisoned.
If there's even a tiny chance...
It's quite a task.
With your health...
My lungs will be the death of me.
Till then...
It's a miracle you're alive.
No, not a miracle...
The slightest sustained
effort could be fatal.
I could die shut
away in a bedroom.
I might as well stop living.
Am I the Mother Superior
of this institution?
Yes, Mother.
- So must you obey me?
- Of course.
If I say no, must you accept it
without argument?
May 27.
I'm off to fetch little Marie.
I'm almost as excited
as the day I took my vows.
Anyone there?
It's me.
Who are you?
I've come...
to help you.
Does she have no shoes?
We never managed to put them on.
Nor dress her.
I almost forgot.
This knife is her favorite object.
She prefers that to dolls.
You'll have to leave her now.
I know.
Go on.
Go! Go!
Both of us.
There, look.
That's a cow.
Look at her hair!
You go there.
That's for you.
It's your bed. Where you sleep.
Here. OK?
I'll be back.
You stay here.
I'll be back.
I'll fetch her sheets.
She's a new girl.
Be nice to her.
You look after her.
I'll be back.
Stop messing around!
I trusted you.
You're all very naughty.
I'll tell Mother Superior.
It'll all end in tears.
I'm disappointed.
It's wrong!
Hush. It's me.
It's me. There.
When this discourse had lasted
for the space of two miles...
Brother Leo questioned him
saying: "Father, I pray thee,
"teach me where in is perfect joy. "
Carry on.
And Saint Francis replied:
"If, when we shall arrive... "
Leave me.
"... drenched with rain
and trembling with cold,
"exhausted by hunger,
"and if, when we knock
at the convent gate,
"the porter should come angrily,
"and ask us who we are
"and we tell him...
"... and he answer:
"That is not the truth,
"ye are two imposters who
take away the alms of the poor.
"Then if we accept with patience
"and without murmuring
"so much injustice... "
"... believing with humility
"and charity... "
"O, Brother Leo,
"write that this indeed
is perfect joy. "
July 26.
Each has her cross to bear.
Right now my life
with Marie is an ordeal.
What path should I take?
September 20.
I've had Marie for four months.
Her language isn't advancing.
She behaves like a wild animal.
It's me.
Wait, wait...
Wait, look.
That's your knife.
It's your knife.
Your knife!
October 27.
Still no progress.
Marie has gone downhill
since she's been here.
It's only natural.
I took away her parents,
her home,
the little she knew.
I dragged her
out of her world.
Stop criticizing me.
You're annoying.
I lived in silence
until I was 4.
My parents didn't
know sign language,
but they taught me the rest.
What rest?
Politeness, behavior,
table manners...
She must learn
to live with others.
She isn't alone.
You're right.
I'm educating her badly.
Maybe you were wrong
but you can do better.
I've no courage left.
All this work for nothing.
Till now, you...
You taught me sign language.
You know.
All I know is gardening.
Since you know best, carry on.
You've taken one step.
You can take more.
She doesn't understand a thing.
Today, November 15, 8:30,
I'm about to do Marie's hair.
Drop! Drop!
Drop! Drop! Drop!
Drop it.
There, you see?
That's good.
Oh, dash!
Marie's here already.
Be patient.
We must go to class.
Give them your place.
Oh! Go on, then.
It's all yours!
That's it.
She has understood.
Well done!
Well done!
The words of our
Lord Jesus Christ
tell us that we must
make our way
while we strive
amid the cares of this world.
We make our way,
unpossessed as yet
of any abiding city.
Still on the journey,
not yet come home.
Still hoping, not yet enjoying.
Let us make our way,
not by fits and starts,
so that some day
we may arrive.
Martha and Mary were sisters
not in the flesh only
but also in godliness.
Together they clave
unto the Lord...
That's your knife.
And that's the sign knife.
Give it to me.
Go on.
Knife. Knife.
It's here, look.
Go on. Knife.
Go on.
Go on, then!
Knife. Here, feel.
It's your knife.
You know it! Go on.
Yes, yes! Go on!
No, no sleeping.
No sleeping. Come on!
Come on now.
No sleeping, I said.
Wake up!
Come on, knife!
No, do knife for me!
That's it! Knife!
Mother, you must come.
- Come where?
- Come and see Marie.
She's been here eight months, no?
Yes, and...
- I find you admirable.
- Oh?
With so few results...
I have results.
Marie has made incredible progress.
You must come and see.
That's it!
What is?
She's signing the word knife.
She's asking...
She's asking me to sign fork.
That's the sign for fork.
That's it. That's it.
Did you see?
It works.
It works.
It works!
Yes, like that.
Same for the other.
June 15 I'm witnessing
a wonderful show,
an explosion of language.
It was so hard
to learn the first word
but the following words
are patently simple.
Marie wants to
name everything.
Next we'll be seeing adjectives,
grammar, abstract words.
I hope to live long enough
to see all that.
Are they coming?
Not yet.
It's a long time.
They're coming.
Can they see me?
Not yet.
They can see you.
What are you waiting for?
Help me down.
Help me down.
Go to them.
What are you waiting for?
She's your daughter.
She says she's learning
the alphabet
and also...
the spelling of words.
How do we say hello?
My little girl...
How do we say Mommy?
- Like this?
- Yes.
She says she is happy.
And... she loves you.
Can nothing be done?
Rest, mainly.
And the mountain air.
We won't tell Marie
you're leaving.
It would hurt her too much.
The men with him were
dumbfounded half-wits,
hearing the voice
but seeing nobody.
Saul got up and,
although his eyes were opened,
he could see nothing.
He was led to Damascus...
Please eat.
In Damascus, there was
a disciple named Ananius...
It's me, Raphalle.
You must eat.
No, sister. The journey
would worsen your condition
- and you might...
- I'll die in the end.
As will we all.
But I'll probably go
long before you.
I want to finish my
task before I go.
Just find me a remedy
to get me through the trip.
I am so happy.
I will see Marie again.
She is my joy,
the daughter of my soul,
the light of my life.
It's me.
What's wrong?
Sister Elisabeth has died.
- When?
- Just now.
She was working
in the garden.
She said she felt hot,
and then died.
Sister Elisabeth is broken?
No. Her body is broken.
She is dead.
You and I are the opposite.
We are alive.
I'm going to die too.
I forbid you to die.
I can't decide that.
Neither can you.
- Who decides?
- God.
Who is God? Where is He?
I can't touch Him.
He is everywhere.
Here, here, here...
Even inside you.
April 20.
Marie gave me
so many things.
She introduced me to a
world I knew nothing about.
A world you can touch,
where everything that is alive
pulsates under your fingers.
They are beautiful.
There are lots of them.
Are you all right?
Would you like a drink?
Careful, it's hot.
You want a drink?
I won't let her come in.
But she needs to see you.
I didn't ask your opinion.
I want to come in, please.
Marguerite is tired.
She is resting.
I want to go in.
I said no.
I want to go in!
Patience. Later.
What about little Marie?
She wasn't seen at lunch.
Where has she got to?
We've been looking all clay.
We looked everywhere.
Look in the trees.
It's dangerous.
Oh, I'm still capable
of climbing a ladder!
Come on.
I want to see Marguerite.
I want to see Marguerite
before she dies.
Before taking the orders myself,
I thought the people of the Church
left this world peacefully,
in serenity.
Since then I've seen
several sisters die,
a few priests...
Some allay suspicion.
With more or less skill,
they pretend...
they're happy to
join their Maker.
But I've never been fooled.
I felt the revolt
clinging to their bodies.
I suppose I'll go that way too.
We devoted ourselves to God.
Our whole life is a rebellion.
We rebel against evil,
against the world,
against ourselves.
Why won't you talk to
the girl one last time?
I am not ready.
You've no more
time to get ready.
But she is ready.
You worked well.
She knows you will leave her.
She has accepted it.
But you haven't.
You haven't accepted leaving her.
Will you carry on learning?
I won't be there to help you.
The other sisters
will take over.
You must live!
Sister Marguerite,
I often think of you.
All day I think of you.
In the morning, when I wake,
I think of you.
At night, as I go to sleep,
I think of you.
When I learn something new,
I think of you.
So far I have learned
a great many things.
When you see me from heaven,
I hope you are proud of me.
A new little girl arrived today.
She's like me.
Deaf and blind.
But she's different from me
when I arrived.
She doesn't shout.
She doesn't move.
She smells nice.
She smells of bread.
She's waiting.
What is she waiting for?
She's waiting for the word.
The sisters will teach her,
like you taught me.
I shall help them.
I hope we'll become friends.
You and I were
more than friends.
Marie Heurtin lived for the rest
of her life at Notre-Dame de Larnay,
near Poitiers, where she died
July 22, 1921, aged 36.
An avid reader in Braille
and unbeatable at dominoes,
she never stopped studying
and was a guide
to young deaf-blind girls
who came to Larnay after her.