Veiled Desires: Intimate Portrayals of Nuns in Postwar Anglo-American Film
- Author: Maureen Sabine
- Year: 2013
- Publisher: Fordham University Press
Veiled Desires considers how the beautiful and charismatic stars who play chaste nuns, from Ingrid Bergman and Audrey Hepburn to Susan Sarandon and Meryl Streep, call attention to desires that the veil concealed and the habit was thought to stifle. In a theologically and psychoanalytically informed argument, Sabine responds to the critics who have pigeonholed the film nun as the obedient daughter and religious handmaiden of a patriarchal church, and the respectful audience who revered her as an icon of spiritual perfection. She provides a framework for a more complex and holistic picture of nuns on screen by showing how the films dramatize these women's Christian call to serve, sacrifice, and dedicate themselves to God, and their erotic desire for intimacy, agency, achievement, and fulfillment.