Adapted from the book Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy, by American historian Judith C. Brown, Benedetta is a reconstruction of the story of 17th-century Italian abbess Benedetta Carlini, a nun who claimed to have had a vision of Christ, taking Jesus as a “groom” and entering a “metaphysical” trance of love. Paul Verhoeven films this “spiritual” love story (which somehow emulates the “mystical ecstasy” of St. Teresa d'Ávila) in a very carnal way, bluntly exploring the sexual and erotic element (but also with an “academic interest”, according to the filmmaker, in religious life during the Renaissance) of a real case of female homosexuality in a context of high monastic hierarchy described in the book in great detail (which required rigorous research, as at the time records were very scarce).

  • Duration: 131
  • Production year: 2021
  • Country: Belgium, France, Nederland
  • Subtitles: Subtitles: PT

Cannes Festival - Competition Official Selection

Paul Verhoeven