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is immediately more religious, (opening on an empty room with a crucifix glinting out of the gloom) and more homely (following as it does Anna Maria during her staycation).
Faith becomes her armour against sexual desire, directing all her wants towards Jesus on the cross, kissing and caressing her crucifix beneath the sheets.Her simple, austere missionary life, spreading the word through prayer and song however is thrown into disarray when her husband Nabil (Nabil Saleh) returns to the conjugal home.Paralysed and wheelchair-bound following a car accident two years ago, he is keen to start again with Anna Maria.From the sterile surroundings of the diet camp, Seidl filters impeccably pristine, minimalist images in which any hint of sensuality, passion or anarchy would appear to be a complete anathema.Films to which articles should exist, because they were great success, are or were very well known, have a special political or cultural meaning, have special importance to a director's or artist's career or other important reasons.Between Anna Maria spraying her husband’s clothes with an atomiser of holy water or removing his wheelchair to the basement and Nabil insulting, spitting and nearly raping her, Anna Maria’s prayers to withstand the onslaught of hate go unanswered, and she ends up spitting and whipping her beloved crucifix, filled with hatred.
It is nevertheless a belief that continues – with hatred or love, it’s still faith.
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But caught between her wifely duties and her Christian faith, Anna Maria’s world begins to fall apart.
There’s precious little in the simple gold crucifix around Anna Maria’s neck to betray the Christian fervour lurking within.
For Anna Maria though, cat-keeping is just a sideline which she pays only cursory attention, her full interest reserved for a faith bordering on fundamentalism.