Blessed: a story of spirituality and impure acts, of faith and power

Benedetta is the sinful movie of 2021 directed by Paul Verhoevena shocking and audacious tale that originates from the essay by Judith C. Brown Impure acts – Life of a lesbian nun in Renaissance Italy.

It is a reconstruction inspired by the life of Benedetta Carlinia 17th-century nun who upsets the balance of the convent of fishin Tuscany.

Source: Mubi

Sex and religion

From an early age Benedetta (Virginie Efira) is animated by a fervent religious faith which leads her to join a monastery, where she is taught right away that suffering is the way in which God manifests.

She is devoted and obedient until the arrival of a new adept named Bartolomea (Daphne Patakia), a young peasant woman, upsets her, transporting her into the murky discovery of carnal love, of sexual pleasure.

Thus begins a sapphic love between the two which destabilizes Benedetta, torn between the erotic visions of a Jesus-boyfriend and the tangible impulses towards a woman.

Source: Mubi

However, what makes the protagonist ambiguous and controversial is the mystical force that pushes her to make presumptions miracles.

The appearance of the stigmata is proof of her sanctity, Benedetta is promoted to abbess and the convent becomes the center of a political and religious case, between unbelievers and other devotees.

But rumors of sacrilegious sins and suspicions of witchcraft begin to circulate and Benedetta is faced with a renewed personal awareness, aimed at plumbing the roots of her faith and her obedience to the Church.

Particularly shocking is an instrument featured in the film: a statuette depicting the Madonna who is worked on the lower part (by Bartolomea) to make it a vibrator, thus able to give pleasure to her beloved.

It is a provocative act by the director, who is dedicated to stories of sex and the nude (of which his famous Basic instinct), stages blasphemy.

A blasphemy it has always existed, reported in numerous studies and researches, but it scandalizes if seen up close.

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Source: Movieplayer

Power issues

In the religious logic of this era, everything is based on sacrificewhich leads to holiness and therefore to power.

What the more ambitious nuns yearn for is a position of prominence within the convent, so that the suffering of a life dedicated to the love of an immaterial god can be eased by the comforts and power of decision over others.

In this style exercise that mixes different film genres (horror, comedy, drama), Verhoeven shows all his skepticism for a past reality centered on religion.

And he carefully examines existences, inevitably influenced and influenced by the sacred.

The film revolves around the devotionexperienced in an all-encompassing way by people and therefore capable of shaping their thoughts and actions.

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Source: Movieplayer

Benedetta’s amorality is almost unbearable: transgressive, lustful and domineering.

As the film progresses, however, a form of redemption can be found in the uncontrolled attitude of the protagonist.

In a society where deprivation and suffering are the cornerstones, bodily pleasure is a sin and supremacy resides in religion, then perhaps Benedetta is only trying to subvert an established order to find the meaning of the gift of life.

Going further becomes a means of knowing beyond doctrinal conventions.

But throughout the story the central question remains outstanding: was Benedetta a manipulative mythomaniac or a prophetess?

It is the viewer who decides.

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Source: Imdb

Blessed: a story of spirituality and impure acts, of faith and power