Behind Convent Walls (1979)





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Before it became possible (in the late 19th and early 20th centuries) to imprison young heirs and heiresses in mental institutions in order to gain control of their inheritances, greedy families had for centuries "given" their daughters to convents without the girls' consent. Usually, such nunneries were only nominally religious, and their involuntary inhabitants lived a life of relative ease and luxury compared to their genuinely religious (or poorer) sisters. In the film Interno di un Convento, a zealous, handsome priest, who is the confessor for a convent full of such women, encourages the equally zealous abbess of one such institution to enforce the same strict rules on these unfortunate women that are applied to others. In doing so, they uncover a snake pit of sexual couplings, both lesbian and heterosexual, as well as many tools for masturbation. At the same time, a particularly disturbed inmate manages to poison herself and many of the other novitiates in yet another scandal which is covered up by church authorities. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama
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Critic Reviews for Behind Convent Walls

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Audience Reviews for Behind Convent Walls

In "Behind Convent Walls," the Abbess(Gabriella Giacobbe) does her best at keeping order at a convent in 19th century Italy but can only do so much, like blindfolding Silva(Alessandro Partexano) when he comes in to make repairs and deliveries. In fact, she goes so far as to get rid of a violin belonging to one of the nuns, causing more than a good deal of resentment amongst her charges. At least, she does not have to worry about her niece Clara(Ligia Branice). Even as it is kind of hard to differentiate between the characters at times and the plot such as it is pretty much imploding at the end, "Behind Convent Walls" is not bad for a prime example of nunsploitation(that's the term Film Comment digital editor Violet Lucca used in introducing the movie). The movie actually seeks to explore the retired practice of the daughters of nobility being sent to convents against their will. At the same time, the filmmakers literally bend themselves over backwards to get naked yoga into the story.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

If the idea of lots of cute Italian and French 20-something year old women running around mostly naked in bits of nun outfits, having sex with one another and doing things that look like naked yoga appeals to you, then this is your nunsploitation flick. Even the acting isn't too bad, and the direction is pretty good. Of course, the action frequently drifts off into surrealist implausibility with occasional detours into complete nonsense, but, hey, look... naked young nuns! If you know and love the nunsploitation genre, this is one of the better offerings. If not, then why have you even read this far, ya perv? If nuns were really like this, there would be a lot more Catholics.

Brian Seitzman
Brian Seitzman

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