Here is a movie for those who enjoy strong female characters in suspenseful adventures and movies involving religions which embrace shamanism.
We first see a young couple helping a man of Central Asia origin escape from a rusting prison. We don't know who they are or why they are acting this way but they have our sympathy from the beginning; we feel they are doing the right thing and we want them to escape with the man.
Then, when the woman dies, her last act is to reach for the locket that symbolizes the thing she loves most in her world. She reminds us that a mother's love for her child is great; perhaps we will see just how far a mother will go to save her child.
The child whose photo we glimpsed in the locket is introduced to us as a grown woman and our empathy moves to her. She has promised herself, since she herself is an orphan, she would care for an orphan. She has successfully adopted a child, Liu-San, from a Siberian orphanage.
As Liu-San reaches perhaps the age of ten we see he loves his adoptive mother wholeheartedly. In fact they become bound together so closely they even have the same dreams. Other incidents occur that seem strange in the modern world. But we come to understand that on the steppes of Central Asia exists a religion which can explain what is happening.
Liu-San is kidnapped forcing his mother to rely upon her inner reservoirs of strength. She is determined to find her son while at the same time she must deal with betrayal from those she trusted the most.
Moving between reality and myth finally mother and son find themselves in a situation where they are caught between the two worlds.
Woven throughout the movie is the clash of ancient spiritual beliefs with the modern world; contemporary living is such a different realm than that of Nature.
The reward may be unpredictable for people who want to profit from the spiritual source of nature.
Premiered at Rome film festival Oct 17, 2006 with the title
Le Concile de pierre.
Director: Guillaume Nicloux
Cast includes: Monica Bellucci, Catherine Deneuve, Moritz Bleibtreu
Based on a novel by Jean-Christophe Grange