The French-speaking Swiss Alps, summer 1900: Elisabeth (Lilith Grasmug), 17, is forced to leave her convent because her sister, Innocente, has died and the family farm needs another hand. So far, so classical. But what starts out as a gorgeously photographed tale of a deeply religious community eking out a subsistence living soon morphs into a fever dream of sexual hysteria when Elisabeth, emboldened by her sister’s explicit journal, seeks spiritual enlightenment through sexual exultation. Writer-director Carmen Jaquier tackles some big issues here—religious repression vs. female liberation via sexuality; the relationship between religious ecstasy and orgasmic pleasures—but the foundational point of her story is the embrace of the vividness of being alive: the bracingly fresh air, crystalline running water, effusive vegetation, and above all, the penetrating light of the immense mountain setting. Replete with indelible images, Thunder marks a bold debut from a talent to watch.