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Film and TV

Erotic lesbian nun drama from Basic Instinct director teased in thrilling trailer

Emma Powys Maurice May 5, 2021
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Benedetta trailer

Virginie Efira leads the cast of Paul's Verhoeven's "Benedetta" (YouTube)

The acclaimed director Paul Verhoeven has dropped an explosive trailer for his long-awaited erotic lesbian nun romance, Benedetta.

The steamy period drama will be the Dutch filmmaker’s first movie in five years and is expected to bear all the hallmarks of his iconic psychosexual dramas Basic Instinct and Elle.

Inspired by true events, the French-language thriller kicks off in a 15th century Tuscan convent as plague ravages the land.

Young Benedetta Carlini joins the convent as a novice nun who holds a huge secret: at an early age, she developed the ability to perform miracles.

Her impact on life in the religious community is “immediate and momentous”, the film’s synopsis reveals, but in this world of intense scrutiny it doesn’t come without conflict.

The tale takes a seriously sexually-charged turn when she takes in a young woman to her convent; soon after she begins experiencing passionate, erotic visions, which lead to a romantic entanglement with her fellow sister.

As the thrilling first-look trailer reveals, it’s not long before she’s besieged on all sides by doubters determined to put her on trial for blasphemy.

Benedetta stars Academy Award nominee Charlotte Rampling as the convent’s Abbess Felicita, while Virginie Efira plays the titular role, and Daphne Patakia portrays Bartolomea, the object of Benedetta’s affection.

The incredible true story is based on Judith C Brown’s 1986 non-fiction book Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy (Studies in the History of Sexuality). The script is the work of Verhoeven and David Birke, who co-wrote Elle.

Benedetta is due to make its world premiere at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival this summer, before being released in France by Pathé on 9 July. No date for the international release has been confirmed yet.

Until then, check out the trailer below and prepare to be obsessed.

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