Wednesday, March 28, 2007


THE NUN (“La Religieuse”, 1966, France, Jacques Rivette, Jean Gruault / Jacques Rivette screenplay from Diderot novel)
Austere style, lurid content, initially banned for attacking the Church. Considerably more substantial than the sort of CONVENT OF HORROR nunsploitation flick plot description may suggest: 18th century girl forced to join a religious order, kindly abbess dies leaving sadistic Mother Superior to torment her, lesbian Mother Superior to lust after her, Priest to help her escape then try to rape her. Not exactly food for the soul, yet the non-sensationalist treatment lends weight to critique of undeniably historical abuses. Acquarello: “It is society's intractable adherence to doctrine, regimentation, and procedure over humanity and conscience that is symptomatically echoed in the cruelty, barbarism, pettiness, and self-indulgent excess within the walls of the cloisters: a pervasive moral bankruptcy that infects even the most hermetic - and powerful - of institutions.”

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