Benedetta

Paul Verhoeven’s ‘convent life gone wrong’
Hi Gloss Entertainment
by
ABR Arts 07 February 2022

Benedetta

Paul Verhoeven’s ‘convent life gone wrong’
Hi Gloss Entertainment
by
ABR Arts 07 February 2022
Virginie Efira and Daphne Patakia in Benedetta (photograph via Hi Gloss Entertainment)
Virginie Efira and Daphne Patakia in Benedetta (photograph via Hi Gloss Entertainment)

Catholicism gets a bad rap when it comes to sex these days. The Church fixates on condoms and abortion. It isn’t always big on homosexuality either. Paul Verhoeven’s ‘historically inspired’ film, on one level, explores the hypocrisies that arise from such callow credos: the religious renounce the flesh but flagrantly eroticise spiritual and interpersonal relationships. Carnal obsessions abound on screen. Nuns mortify themselves (quite literally) and male clergy are reassuringly lascivious. The whole film is as revealing of the female figure as you would expect from the director of Basic Instinct (1992) and Showgirls (1995). Indeed, those who buy their ticket for the soupçons of Sapphic frottage are unlikely to be disappointed.

From the New Issue

Comment (1)

  • I walked out of a screening of Benedetta last night - could not stomach yet another gratuitous scene of degradation - another mangled breast, or ruined girl. 'Basic Instinct' by way of 'Monty Python', 'Benedetta' is phwoar, peephole filmmaking - a tale of snickering cruelty. It is an object lesson in the male gaze. Women’s intimacies as a leering punchline. The persecuted Benedetta Carlini has been exhumed from history for the benefit of a dildo gag. There was a tale to tell here about cloistered power and the lure of rapture. It feels mightily telling that my friends and I were the only women in the screening.
    Posted by Beejay Silcox
    17 February 2022

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