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The Nun Photos

Movie Info

Suzanne (Anna Karina) unwillingly joins a religious order, but the presence of the kindly mother superior, Mme. de Moni (Micheline Presle), makes life seem bearable. When Mme. de Moni dies, though, she is replaced by Sister Sainte-Christine (Francine Bergé), a sadistic disciplinarian with a grudge against Suzanne. Suzanne obtains a transfer to a different convent -- until she discovers that her new abbess, Mme. de Chelles (Liselotte Pulver), is a sexual predator.

Cast & Crew

Liselotte Pulver
Madame de Chelles
Micheline Presle
Madame de Moni
Francine Bergé
Soeur Sainte-Christine
Christiane Lenier
Madame Simonin
Yori Bertin
Soeur Thérèse
Jean Gruault
Screenwriter
Jacques Rivette
Screenwriter
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Critic Reviews for The Nun

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for The Nun

  • Jul 29, 2014
    The wife of the Nouvelle Vague, Anna Karina, stars in Rivette's controversial machine gun against the bestialities of religious fundamentalisms. <i>La Religieuse</i>, which is itself a more proper movie title to be maintained rather than its international and less exact translation "The Nun", is a purely freely artistic film adaptation of Denis Diderot's novel of 1760. It tells the tragic story of Suzanne Simonin, played by Anna Karina, a woman who was forced against her will to take vows as a nun. Her justified rebellion and lack of faith, both derived from her frustration and solitude, is taken as Satanic behavior in the convent where she lives. Moving from convent to convent, she will be subject to inhuman treatments, blindly dismissive accusations and even lesbian learnings from each Mother Superior she treats, while simultaneously facing the ultimately repulsive and hypocritical behavior that pervades in such sadistic religious communities even today. The Catholic Film Office was enraged by the accusations made by Rivette through this film, which was banned for two years by the censors, which of course helped the film to receive an even more notorious status and be screened at Cannes. The irony is found in the fact that the film literally opens with an explicit disclaimer stating that nothing is supposed to be taken as a representation that totalizes the lifestyle of the 18th Century, nor taken as a generalized representation of the Catholic Church. Which is TRUE. So who was the responsible for its ban? The Catholic Film Office, of course *coughs*. Maybe nothing hurts more than the truth... I am personally baffled that, given the conservatism of the era (which is lived even today with approximately the same intensity given the status of the Catholic Church as an "institution" on par with some national governments), the film wasn't banned, well, forever, if not for a whole decade. Here's why. Cinema today, more importantly Europe, and even more specifically Spain, France, Ireland and the U.K., releases furious statements of international distribution every time that they treat a story that takes place in a convent. Perhaps the best example is <i>The Magdalene Sisters</i> (2002). <i>La Religieuse</i> is an important cinematic predecessor, as I am concerned, preceding even the religious condemnations that exploded during the 70s in the sensuous and exploitative form of nunsploitation. What remains most shocking about Rivette's adaptation is that it doesn't really condemn anything. On the contrary, it presents a series of events in the perfectly known art of dramatization that characterizes cinema remaining neutral, as an observer. It even takes the bold step of showing the sexual mysery in which the nuns live, fantasizing better lives outside of their vows and experimenting among themselves. And the Catholic Church is not particularly fond of homosexuality, either. A film thematically ahead of its time and that presented a known topic in a different fashion and with some scandalous subject matter, <b>including a priest that also confesses that he was forced onto his profession</b>, Rivette's film is gorgeous to look at, with a powerhouse performance by the diva of the French New Wave, who proved everybody to be one actress of the highest order. The film's ending statement is the most important for all, and marvelously summarizes the problems with religious institutions today: organizations driven by people without the aid of God inflicts harm on others and equals lunacy. 87/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer

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