MovieChat Forums > Innocence (2004) Discussion > What the heck was that about?

What the heck was that about?


>What on earth was that scene about where bianca is blindfolded and injected with something?.Everyone seems to be forgetting that?

>And what was with the women talking about the fact that she didnt want alice becoming one of them?...'them as in what',stuck at the school?
>What was with the creepy coffins?,whats wrong with walking!,and the being naked thing?
>were the children sent there by their parents?,how did they get there?

>And whats with the shows they put on,i know they raise money for the school,but to spend on what,they are pritty self suficiant...

>And Why do people go and see little girls who are not their daughters dress up fairies in skimpy costume? (i dont care what anyone says,there is definatly a pervert theme running there) or do their parents come and see them?

>And who is the bloke with the rose and glove,whats that about?

Now im very good with films and i dont usually judge,i watch all sorts,but there are so many things about this film i just dont get.
I watched it under the impression (because of the way it was phrased on the sky review) that it was going to be a seedy place where they were tortured or prostitues or something,of course im not saying that i wanted it to be about that because thats just nasty but the review was totally off the point,i just spent the last 132 mins of my life watching a film that didnt go anywhere,or do anything or have any meaning at all?

'There's still life in the old lady yet.'-Lestat

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[deleted]

Is it that nobody goes on these boards or that nobody has the answers to my questions as to the reason why nobody is here =/

Im all lonely

'There's still life in the old lady yet.'-Lestat

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Hi,

I just watched Innocence and had many of the same questions you did. I watched the interview with the director and she didn't answer ANY of the questions that I had, like: were these children orphans? why didn't any of them miss their parents if it's a boarding school? why did the new girls come in coffins and why did Iris miss her brother but not her parents? the director said that the viewer can interpret the movie any way they wish. I think that's a cop-out because she doesn't have to explain anything! I think the movie was visually pretty but I need more explanations, not a bunch of visuals that go nowhere.

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The main reason that the film succeeded to the extent that it did for me (I gave it a 9/10) was precisely because it was so ambiguous. To me, it's basically an "arthouse drama girls-school version of Cube". And just like Cube, many things can be seen in the film as an artistic metaphor for life--it's the "human condition" that we have a lot of unanswered/unanswerable questions about our existence and the world at large. Meanwhile, there seems to be something fairly sinister going on, and I found that aspect very attractive. The fact that that possibly sinister aspect is never specified makes it work far better I think.

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The main reason that the film succeeded to the extent that it did for me (I gave it a 9/10) was precisely because it was so ambiguous. To me, it's basically an "arthouse drama girls-school version of Cube". And just like Cube, many things can be seen in the film as an artistic metaphor for life--it's the "human condition" that we have a lot of unanswered/unanswerable questions about our existence and the world at large. Meanwhile, there seems to be something fairly sinister going on, and I found that aspect very attractive. The fact that that possibly sinister aspect is never specified makes it work far better I think.
You could copy and paste that post in the "Picnic at Hanging Rock" board and it would fit right in. Do see the film if you liked Innocence, i'd say see it even if you didn't, they are really quite different films.

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Lemme try and answer your questions (Spoilers follow, obviously):

1. ...bianca is blindfolded and injected with something...
I don't remember any such scene. Can you tell me where that scene appears? Anyway, if you are talking about the scene when Iris follows Bianca to the big house during the night, then, the woman getting the injection wasn't Bianca, she was just some old caretaker-lady getting her medication, and she wasn't blindfolded. Bianca, at that time, wasn't in the house. She was on the stage, performing for the audience, behind the grandfather clock. That was the only time of the day that the people from outside came there. So, it was the only time a doctor could visit and check on the old caretakers.
2. what was with the women talking about the fact that she didnt want alice becoming one of them?...'them as in what',stuck at the school?
Yes, stuck at school.
3. What was with the creepy coffins?...
4. were the children sent there by their parents?,how did they get there?
Question No. 4 doesn't need to be answered, because that would betray what the movie is about. It's about the "the Pupa stage". Let me explain:
The movie Innocence is kind of a metaphor for the life cycle of a butterfly. The girls spend the starting few years of their lives outside, growing and getting ready (Larvae stage, "Maggots" is what the dance teacher calls them). Then they enter the boarding school (Pupa stage) which is closed from all side (Cocoon). The point at which they enter the Pupa stage is the end of the larvae stage. In other words: the death of the larvae (hence the coffin). Here they are turned from "Maggots" to graceful ladies (Butterflies). After this, they leave the boarding school (the cocoon) to enter the outside world once again and find a mate (as Bianca does at the end, near the fountain).
whats wrong with walking!,and the being naked thing?
I don't remember anything being wrong with walking.
The "naked thing" is there to emphasize their innocence. Young girls don't see their bodies as objects of sexual desire. In fact, they don't even have any idea what sexual desire is. So, their nakedness shows their innocence.
5. whats with the shows they put on...they are pritty self suficiant...
No, they are not self sufficient. They need money for electricity, water for drinking and other uses, food, gas (to cook food), soap, etc.,
6. And Why do people go and see little girls who are not their daughters dress up fairies in skimpy costume? (i dont care what anyone says,there is definatly a pervert theme running there) or do their parents come and see them?
Why do you watch a movie with half naked little girls who aren't your daughter? I don't care what anyone says, there's definitely something perverted about you.
Anyway, in case you are wondering, the movie isn't set in an modern era. Watching stage shows is the only form of entertainment.
And, no, they are not the girl's parents. Otherwise they would pay more for the upkeep of the school than just the price of admission to the show.
7. who is the bloke with the rose and glove,whats that about?
In the movie The Fine Art of Love, which is loosely based on the same book, this character takes the girl home and rapes her. He may be a pervert in this movie too. Or, maybe, that scene is there to show that among all the girls in boarding school, she's the one who's the most successful in becoming a beautiful "butterfly", 'cause she's the only one to get such a reaction from the audience. This point is further illustrated in the ending where she is the 1st one to attract a mate, and she did it pretty quickly too.

And now, my comments on some of the things you said:
I watched it under the impression (because of the way it was phrased on the sky review) that it was going to be a seedy place where they were tortured or prostitues or something
You probably watched the wrong movie. Watch The Fine Art of Love which is based on the same book, but has all those things that you were expecting, and more.
im not saying that i wanted it to be about that because thats just nasty
Apparently, you decided to watch the movie after reading that review, and you seem to be disappointed that the movie didn't turn out that way. So, yeah, consciously or subconsciously, you did want it to be that way. Nothing wrong with that. We like to see characters get in all sorts of troubles, 'cause wanting to see how they overcome these problems is what keeps our interest.
a film that didnt go anywhere,or do anything or have any meaning at all?
Read the answer to the 3rd and 4th question.

Personally, I think that the movie was very boring and a waste of time for me. The realization, in the end, that the whole movie was a metaphor was the only thing that I liked about it.

AFC to PUA. That's the dream.

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Touché!


I agree with you all the way, except I liked the movie a lot, though.
Thx for this interpretation.

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It's a film about growing up. And becoming an adult can be something very scary and hard to understand.

The viewer sees the film through the eyes of the girls, starting with the youngest one and ending with the young women. You know as much as the girls do, some things get unraveled along the way, others remain a mystery till the very end or stay that way.

Which makes it very much a NO Hollywood movie with it's easy-to-swallow-attitude (I saw you use the term "spoon fed" on another board…).

Sure, not everything is explained and there are some flaws in that, the coffins being the hardest to grasp. But still a beautiful, and creepy, movie. An 8/10 IMHO.

The divinity laughed.

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I know,i mainly have an isue with the scene where she is clearly being injected with something,are we suppose to believe these are incoculations or what?


'There's still life in the old lady yet.'-Lestat

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I think it was a doctor injecting medication against measles or something similar. On another board someone claimed the person being injected is one of the women, but I don't really think so.

But what's there to have problems with? Nothing wrong with injections, right?

The divinity laughed.

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Uh was it Bianca? Wasn't she supposed to be showing at night. I mean, i always thought it was just one of the women because they went through the grandfather clock to dance, and Iris didn't see that... I don't know ...

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Definitely was an elderly lady being injected, not Bianca.

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I agree, I don't think it was Bianca being injected, I didn't think so at the time either, it looked like an older woman.

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Dude that was Edith getting injected, I think

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the coffins being the hardest to grasp.


If the girls are all dead, the coffins are pretty straight forward.

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I agree that's the theme of the movie and you observed very well that the "main character" changes. It is a good movie, well filmed and with a deep metaphore, but by no means beautiful. It makes you feel rather uncomfortable.

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I feel it's one of those films where the director is as vague as possible so that you can't figure out what's going on, and in turn, you may misinterpret the vague plot and themes, and questions, with brilliant storytelling. Sorry, I'm not buying it this time around. This film only kept me interested for half of it. The rest of the film, irritated me and my friends from a point of annoyance, leading up to a point where we stopped caring.

Being clever, profound, and challenging is different than being unjustly vague with excuses to show child nudity. WTF was that about? Nevermind, I don't care anymore.

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This thread is really entertaining when you haven't seen the film.
Sounds good.

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I have the same questions. I also did not understand the coffins. Why did the young girl seem to arrive in a coffin? What was with the wall around the school? What was with the young girl who ran away, I understand why she ran away, but I do not understand the point and why they did not go after her? Were the girls happy? Was it their choice to be there? Where were the parents? Or were they orphans? I am also confused by the head mistress that picks one of the blue ribbon girls. Who is she supposed to represent? And what is that action supposed to represent? Why the hidden passages? Why was their a subway under the school?

I understand the butterfly analogy for growing up, but still have lots of questions.

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I think the coffin thing was actually one of the easy to spot symbols. It represents a cocoon, where the girls are "born" into their new lives in the school. After their birth theyre caterpillars, as Eva says in the first ballet lesson. Once they reach puberty they become butterflies and fly away into the outside world.

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I imagine the person getting the injection was one of the old ladies, but this one was bedridden and dying from cancer or something. Maybe a shot of morphine then. Can't have her yelling out in pain and spooking the girls.

I think the children never talked of life before the school, because all the new arrivals had been at a previous school(s) or orphanages with both sexes, run by the same mysterious people. The girls school was simply the next step. Were they kidnapped at an early age? or more likely their mothers were also once students of the school and still within the unknown society which runs it all. The mothers gave up the children at some point because that's what happened to them as babies also and it's just part of all that they know. By arriving in the coffin maybe it represents the death of their old life at the society's 1-6 years old schools/orphanages and when arriving and released from said coffin - this represents her birth and new life at the new school. They are conditioned from birth not discuss the past. The whole structure of it all is highly compartmentalized. This is how the big secret of the society is kept from being discovered.

What may have happened to Alice? I think she got lost in the woods and froze to death in the snow. Or the dogs got her and tore her apart and got her white dress soaked with blood. Or she was seized by guards and taken to another facility that was not as nice and trained for servitude at the girls school. Or seized and sold into slavery somewhere - school profits. Or she found her way to a city and became a street kid.

For the blue ribbon girl who was selected - more funds for the school - I think every year a Satanic cult (a separate secret society from the school and it's parent organization) purchases a virgin of impeccable quality for the sacrifice at their annual Black Mass. Maybe after that they roast her and eat her. Except for the visiting head mistress I don't think the teachers knew the fate of these girls, but had a feeling that it was not good.

Bianca and her crew - the next step in their education - they're gradually introduced to sex through their teen years and trained in the art of it.

Final product at 16 - a Stepford like courtesan of the highest order.


Then again, maybe it's just a girls school like any other and it's my imagination that's running wild.

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>What on earth was that scene about where bianca is blindfolded and injected with something?.Everyone seems to be forgetting that?

If I'm not mistaken, it wasn't Bianca blindfolded. Most likely she went into the clock to dance. When Iris saw the girl being injected, it didn't phase her - she just went to the next room which had the map of the grounds. As to why the woman was being injected - from a child's point of view, like Iris, it wasn't Bianca, and that was enough. She didn't bother wanting to know about the injection, so the movie continued on.

>And what was with the women talking about the fact that she didnt want alice becoming one of them?...'them as in what',stuck at the school?

My guess is that the chosen girls were taken to an advanced dance school where they were trained unusally hard. Looking at the teacher with the cane, I'm guessing she got that injury from being overtrained as one of the 'chosen ones.'

>What was with the creepy coffins?,whats wrong with walking!,and the being naked thing? were the children sent there by their parents?,how did they get there?

The coffins were most likely to keep the child from knowing how they got into the school. The being naked thing I think is to keep the girls in school from seeing anything from the outside world when they open the coffin. If the new girl was wearing anything new and trendy, it could disrupt the girls. I'm guessing the girls are orphans, because most parents wouldn't let their child be sent to a school in a coffin. That could also explain why Iris missed her brother and not her parents.

>And whats with the shows they put on, And Why do people go and see little girls who are not their daughters dress up fairies in skimpy costume? And who is the bloke with the rose and glove,whats that about?

As the person explained when the girls got caught exploring the theater entrance, the shows raise money for the school. It just paints a sinister picture of a group of people who run a school for ballet girls just to make money so they can have nice houses and such. I'm sure the audience are perverts. As for the rose and the glove, I think the rose was to show how Bianca reacted to it. She smiled and wore the rose, showing that she liked the attention. Notice when she goes home she puts on the glove and rubs the inside of her legs? As she's maturing, I'm sure she's starting to explore her new body. Then she plays in the water fountain with the boy at the end, so I just chalk it up to Bianca becoming a young adult.

These are all my own totally pulled-out-of-the-air answers. I might be wrong on all counts, but because the show is so mysterious and magical, I might be right on all of the them, too! I can sleep better when I have answers to everything, even if I have to make them up.

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I couldn't be bothered to read a lot of the comments on this board so i don't know what most peoples views on this film are but the impression i got from the beginning of the film is this:

The girls are being brought into the school in coffins, therefore they are already dead and this is some sort of after life for school-age girls. this theory was backed up by the fact that no-one could visit and people who left were never seen again. (But then how did Laura die in the lake if she was already dead?) and then later it seemed like the older girls were being "moved on" because did any else think that the whole end scene with the beautiful architecture and fountain was made to look like heaven?

Well yes, that's my view on it anyway.

I thought this was a good film in a way, but i didn't really have a plot and seemed a little idle...

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