A Catholic group has called for the French language lesbian nun film Benedetta to be banned as it allegedly offends God. The movie, set to release on April 15, follows Sister Benedetta Carlini who lived at the Abbess of the Theatine convent in Pescia in the 1600s and allegedly had a torrid love affair with another nun that was eventually discovered by the church. I’m not seeing the problem here, are you?
- The movie is loosely based on a book that’s based on a true story. Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy by Judith C. Brown was released in 1986 and has been used as inspiration for the movie, but that’s not enough for the Irish Society for Christian Civilization, which has called for the movie’s release to be pulled indefinitely.
- It seems that Benedetta is “immoral” and an “offense to God.” They also take issue with the fact that the movie is supposed to be released on April 15, which is Good Friday. In the group’s eyes, this is tantamount to “blasphemy.”
- A petition has been started to pull the movie across the UK. “In a shocking attack on Good Friday, film company MUBI will launch Benedetta across Ireland and the UK, a film which horribly insults Our Lady and her Son,” it reads. “I strongly oppose and condemn your distribution and promotion of Paul Verhoeven’s film Benedetta. It offends God, and countless Catholics all over the world.”
- There are a few things in particular the group takes umbrage over. They are: “several Jesus-on-nun intense ‘make outs’; a statuette of Mary Most Holy used as a sex toy; voyeuristic lesbian nuns’ pornography; reviews describe it as ‘blasphemy,’ ‘anti-Catholic,’ ‘pornographic,’ and ‘nunspoiltation.'” Sounds like the makings of a good movie to me!
- The Irish Society for Christian Civilization believes the movie is a direct attack on Christianity. As Damien Murphy, a spokesman for the group, told the Belfast Telegraph: “This movie is a fraud and nothing more than a blatant attack on the Catholic faith. To launch this film on Good Friday is a calculated insult to Christians everywhere. And shame on the Queen’s Film Theatre in Belfast for permitting this showing at any time, but especially on this highly significant religious occasion.”
It’s unlikely this petition will lead to any kind of change, especially considering Rotten Tomatoes has given it 85%, which is pretty great. As one reviewer wrote: “A funny, filthy, iconoclastic riot. Paul Verhoeven’s latest erotic satire won’t be for all creeds, but it is bursting with enough ideas that even doubters can find something to believe in here.” Maybe the Church should lighten up a bit.