Paul Verhoeven / FR, NL, 2021 / 132 min.
A five-minute standing ovation in Cannes, and mainly rave reviews. Paul Verhoeven’s film of the life story of the nun Benedetta – ‘personal bride of Christ’ and mysticist, sentenced for blasphemy and heresy – is being lauded as an adventurous, intelligent story of religion, power and sex.
It was Verhoeven’s regular screenwriter Gerard Soeteman who brought the director’s attention to Judith C. Browns book: ‘Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy’ (1986). While carrying out research Florence, the Stanford historian came across an archive from the early 17th century containing the reports on the ‘case of Benedetta Carlini’.