Film review: ‘Benedetta’ blends religion with sex, to surprising effect [Sightlines]

Benedetta posterFrom Sightlines  by Charles Ealy:

It stars Virginie Efira as Benedetta, a nun who became the bride of Jesus early in life. She entered the convent before puberty, bringing along a small wooden statue of the Virgin Mary and a sizable dowry from her well-to-do family.

Once she’s an adult, she becomes sort of a rising star at the convent, with disturbing religious and erotic visions that threaten the position of Abbess Felicita (Charlotte Rampling).

In particular, Benedetta survives a near-crushing while praying to a large religious statue that falls on top of her. She also raises her hands, which are bleeding — a sign of the stigmata that causes some of the nuns to fall to their knees.

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A 17th-century nun in Italy suffers from disturbing religious and erotic visions. She is assisted by a companion, and the relationship between the two women develops into a romantic love affair.

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