Stigmata (film)

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German title Stigmata
Original title Stigmata
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1999
length 103 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director Rupert Wainwright
script Tom Lazarus
production Frank Mancuso Jr.
music Elijah Cmiral
Billy Corgan
camera Masato Chikusa
Jeffrey L. Kimball
cut Michael J. Duthie
Michael R. Miller

Stigmata is a Christian - religious mystery - thriller by Rupert Wainwright from the year 1999 . The feature film describes the conflict between Frankie, an atheist young woman from Pittsburgh , where stigmata occur, and Father Kiernan, an ordained priest who also studies miracles on behalf of the Vatican from a scientific perspective.


In the opening credits, Father Alameida can be seen reading passages from the so-called Gospel of Thomas or even a fictional Gospel , with passages supposedly coming directly from Jesus Christ himself, from the apocryphal scriptures.

The film begins with the funeral of Father Alameida, at which Father Kiernan happens to be present when, on behalf of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, he is scientifically investigating an alleged miracle effect in a side wall of this small church in the small Brazilian town of Belo Quinto . He himself witnesses how a statue of Mary begins to “cry blood” next to the laid out Father Alameida and accompanying symptoms associated with a stigmatization (shown in connection with Frankie's story of suffering) appear. Kiernan is a priest who sees himself more as a scientist and is therefore in conflict.

In Pittsburgh , the hairdresser Frankie is woken up one morning by the ringing of her phone. Her mother, who is on a trip (currently in a small town in Brazil ), had sent her a package. Inside there is a fan, a brush and a rosary . She goes to work and confesses to her friend Donna that she may be pregnant.

After a busy day in the salon, Frankie lies down in the bathtub and wonders if she is ready for a child. Suddenly Frankie is startled because a pigeon has flown into her apartment. After the pigeon is gone, Frankie gets a stigmata sign for the first time: her wrists are pierced. She is taken to a hospital and is suspected of harming herself. The wounds are only slightly removed from the artery and the stitches are continuous. Frankie is released and Donna spends the night with her.

The next day, from the salon, Frankie spots a woman across the street with a baby in her arms. The woman drops the baby on the street. Frankie knocks and pounds on the window of the parlor to stop the woman. Then Frankie runs across the street and asks passers-by about the woman and child. Nobody saw them. Donna brings Frankie home. There are also two nuns and a priest sitting in the subway . Frankie goes to the nuns, one of them tears the cross off his neck and asks the priest if he is Andrew Kiernan. At the same time, the train skidded. Frankie is holding onto the tabs on the right and left, and her back is whipped by an invisible force. She is also plagued by visions .

After the incident in the subway, Frankie is brought back to the hospital, where she has a pregnancy test , which is negative. Her doctor also thinks she has epilepsy . Frankie and Donna think this is impossible.

Father Kiernan is forbidden from further investigation of the above-mentioned statue of the Virgin Mary by Cardinal Houseman, but receives the order from him to travel to Frankie in the USA because Father Durning has sent the congregation a video tape from the subway with the whipping of Frankie. He meets Frankie at the hair salon and meets with her to discuss the stigmata. Frankie shows him her wounds, but Andrew learns that Frankie is not a believer. Thus, he is of the opinion that stigmata cannot be involved, as these only occur with believers .

Angry and disappointed, Frankie goes to the disco in the evening, where she receives another wound: the wreath of thorns. She leaves the disco in a panic and runs home in the pouring rain, Donna follows her. Father Kiernan is already on the doorstep and waiting. Then he sees Frankie covered in blood and follows her. She walks into a lonely alley and speaks Aramaic words, which the priest does not understand, but saves using a recording device. When Donna enters the scene, Frankie sinks down. Kiernan and Donna take them to Father Durning, whom they met on the subway.

In her apartment, Frankie begins painting a wall with sentences in an ancient language. Kiernan takes photos of it and sends them to Rome, where he is told that it is Aramaic and that it probably comes from the Gospel of Thomas. Cardinal Houseman gets wind of this and calls a meeting.

Father Kiernan learned from a conversation with a former member of the then Apocrypha Commission that the Church recognized that the Gospel of Thomas would refute its claim to power, which is why the commission was dissolved and all evidence for the text destroyed.

Cardinal Houseman succeeds in destroying all evidence of the document and then tries to kill Frankie himself so that the secret remains hidden forever. Kiernan intervenes at the last second and overcomes the cardinal in the ensuing fight. Kiernan manages to convince Father Alameida to release Frankie. In the garden, the two kiss each other and in the last scene in which Frankie appears, a dove sits on her hand and then flies away again.

In the end, Kiernan finally finds the original script in the church, where Father Alameida is also resting.


  • The apocryphal Gospel of Thomas was actually not written in the Aramaic language , which Jesus himself spoke, but is a Coptic translation from the Greek.
  • The basic quote “Jesus said: The kingdom of God is in you and around you, not in (magnificent) buildings made of wood and stone . Split a piece of wood and I'll be there. Pick up a stone and you will find me, ”on which the film is based, cannot be found in the Gospel of Thomas. The place marked in italics is a pure invention of the filmmakers. The rest is made up of various passages from the gospel. Logion 3 says: “[…] But the kingdom is within you and it is outside of you. […] ”And in Logion 77:“ […] Split a piece of wood, I'm there. Pick up the stone and you will find me there. "
  • Nor is it true that the Church tries to keep the Gospel of Thomas secret because it has been freely accessible since it was discovered in the 1940s. In addition, the gospel is not in the possession of the Catholic Church , but in a museum in Cairo .
  • In fact, Jesus does not appear as the founder of the church in the Gospel of Thomas. Central, however, is the idea of ​​the “kingdom of the father”, to which everyone who feels himself to be a child of God has access.


"A formal brilliant unconverted religious thriller, horror elements in the style of the movie, The Exorcist 'with modern video clip mixed -Aesthetics, but at the same time on the shortcomings of on a trashy-like conspiracy theory suffers based story."

" Half-baked , supposedly serious and informative spectacle with an MTV look and level."



Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The Gospel of Thomas and the Stigmata Film ( Memento of the original from September 21, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. ^ German text of the Gospel of Thomas (PDF; 109 kB)
  3. Stigmata. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  4. ^ Criticism