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Benedetta Mubi.jpg

Protesting the Lesbian Nun Movie Only Makes it Cooler, Guys!

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Film | September 27, 2021 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Film | September 27, 2021 |

Benedetta Mubi.jpg

Paul Verhoeven’s latest movie is Benedetta, a historical drama about Benedetta Carlini, a novice nun in the 17th century who joins an Italian convent and has a lesbian love affair with another nun. Honestly, it’s kind of a surprise that it’s taken this long for the director of Showgirls and Basic Instinct to make a lesbian nun movie. After premiering at Cannes, the movie is now playing at the New York Film Festival, and that makes some people very angry.

Once again, it should be of no surprise to anyone that there are protests over a Paul Verhoeven lesbian nun movie. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the director paid for these people to turn up and get some fun publicity going. The festival itself even took advantage of the angry crowd with their own promotional tweets.

The accusations are all familiar: it’s blasphemous, it’s anti-Catholic, it would make Jesus mad (in fairness, the son of Christ always preferred Verhoeven’s earlier Dutch movies.) One sign says ‘defamation is not free speech’, which makes me wonder how these people think a legal case would be mounted on those grounds against Benedetta. I doubt Benedetta Carlini, who’s been dead since 1661, has her lawyers at the ready.

The film lovers of New York had fun with this one.

I love the implication of these protests that the film lovers familiar with Verhoeven’s work will see the signs, go ‘wait, lesbian nuns!? I won’t stand for this’, and leave. Guys, that’s why we’re going to watch it! We want the blasphemy and the controversy. Did none of you see Black Book or Elle? You’re missing out, clearly.

For the interested and the damned, Benedetta is scheduled to be released in the United States on 3rd December.

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Kayleigh is a features writer and editor for Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter or listen to her podcast, The Hollywood Read.

Header Image Source: Pathé // Mubi