Director: Paul Verhoeven

130, NR

Screenwriter: Paul Verhoeven and David Birke, based on the non-fiction biography by Judith C. Brown.

Cast: Virginie Efira, Lambert Wilson, Daphne Patakia, and Charlotte Rampling.


May’s Queer Thursdays selection is the latest work from Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, whose wild career ranges from prestige films (Soldier of Orange), to the unbounded eroticism of Basic Instinct and yes, Showgirls. Benedetta is an extravaganza of everything you could imagine coming from a biography titled “Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy” Benedetta enters a convent in 17th century Tuscany, run by a skeptical Abbess (the notorious Charlotte Rampling). Now a grown woman, Benedetta (Virginie Efira) claims to have seen visions of Jesus, while having a steamy affair with Bartolomea (Daphne Patakia), a young woman who seeks refuge in the convent. We won’t give away the whole story, but you’ll be in for a wild ride of scheming sisters, faked stigmata, a search for a wooden sex toy, flagellation, burning at the stake, and of course, the plague.

“A very fun, very naked, very blasphemous movie.” – Amy Nichols, FilmWeek NPR Los Angeles.