Benedetta 2021 - 4k quality
Benedetta 2021 - 4k quality
Benedetta is a 2021 biographical psychological drama film co-written and directed by Paul Verhoeven, starring Virginie Efira as Benedetta Carlini, a nun in the 17th century who joins an Italian convent while a young child and later has a lesbian love affair with another nun, while seeing religious visions.
The film is loosely based on the 1985 non-fiction book Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy by Judith C. Brown.Its production included most of the key crew members from Verhoeven's previous film Elle (which also co-starred Efira), such as producer Saïd Ben Saïd, writer David Birke, composer Anne Dudley and editor Job ter Burg.
The film premiered in competition for the Palme d'Or at the 74th Cannes Film Festival on 9 July 2021.
In 17th-century Pescia, Italy, young Benedetta Carlini is enrolled by her parents in a Theatine convent run by Abbess Felicita, to become a nun. Eighteen years later, while playing the Virgin Mary in a play, Benedetta has a vision of Jesus calling to her. One day, a young peasant woman named Bartolomea seeks shelter in the convent from her abusive father. Benedetta is assigned to oversee Bartolomea's integration into convent life. That night, Bartolomea kisses Benedetta.
Benedetta begins to have recurring visions of Jesus. After a particularly fraught vision, where a man whom she mistakes for Jesus saves her from being gang raped, Benedetta falls into a deep illness. Abbess Felicita assigns Bartolomea to look after her. Benedetta has another vision of Christ, asking her to undress and touch his hands. The next morning, she wakes up with stigmata on her palms and feet.
An investigation ensues. Abbess Felicita is sceptical because Benedetta's stigmata manifested while she was asleep, not during prayer, and her forehead lacks the marks of a crown of thorns. Outside Felicita's chambers, Benedetta collapses. She then begins speaking in an angry male voice, castigating those who doubt her, as bleeding wounds appear on her forehead. Sister Christina, Felicita's daughter, suspects that Benedetta's wounds are self-inflicted, after spotting a nearby shard of pottery.
Following a dispute between Felicita and local church leaders about the way popular interest in Benedetta's visions should be handled, Benedetta is elevated to the position of abbess in place of Felicita. Benedetta and Bartolomea move into Felicita's old quarters and begin a sexual relationship, later using a dildo carved by Bartolomea out of Benedetta's wooden Virgin Mary statuette.
In confession, Christina lies to the priest that she witnessed Benedetta inflicting her forehead wounds. The next day, the priest compels Christina to say her accusations publicly. When questioned by the priest, Felicita refutes Christina's claims because Christina has previously admitted to her that she did not actually see the wounds being self-inflicted. Benedetta, apparently possessed by the spirit of Jesus, orders Christina to flagellate herself. Felicita later observes Benedetta and Bartolomea having sex through a peephole in their chambers.
Humiliated, Christina jumps to her death from the roof of the convent. As a plague begins to ravage the countryside, Benedetta has a vision that Pescia will be spared and orders the abbey closed to prevent infection. Felicita secretly travels to Florence to report Benedetta's sexual indiscretions to the local papal nuncio. Meanwhile, Benedetta suddenly dies of unknown causes.
Shortly after Felicita returns to the abbey with the nuncio, Benedetta revives, saying that she was in heaven and has seen the fates of all those present. The nuncio, as representative of the pope, opens a court of inquiry into Benedetta's conduct. Bartolomea initially denies any sexual involvement with Benedetta, but after being tortured by the nuncio's men, she ultimately confesses the truth, leading the nuncio to the wooden dildo hidden in a bible. He has Benedetta arrested; speaking in a male voice again, she lashes out at those who persecute her, announcing that the nuncio will soon fall ill. The nuncio discovers that Felicita has the plague and orders her condition to be hidden. Bartolomea is expelled from the abbey.
In the town square, before she is to be executed, Benedetta reveals new stigmata and, speaking in a male voice, announces that the Angel of Death approaches. Felicita, revealing her disease, blames the nuncio for bringing the plague to Pescia. Chaos ensues as the townspeople prevent the nuncio's men from burning Benedetta at the stake. Bartolomea unties Benedetta, discovering a bloody potsherd at her feet. The nuncio is killed by an angry mob, Benedetta and Bartolomea flee the town, and Felicita self-immolates on the fire lit for Benedetta's execution.
In an abandoned stable outside of town, after spending the night with Bartolomea, Benedetta insists that she must return to the convent. Bartolomea begs her to stay and tries to get her to admit that she faked her stigmata, but Benedetta refuses and instead heads back towards Pescia.
A title card reveals that Benedetta lived in the abbey until her death at the age of 70, and that the plague spared Pescia.
Virginie Efira as Benedetta Carlini
Charlotte Rampling as Abbess Felicita
Daphné Patakia as Bartolomea
Lambert Wilson as the nuncio
Olivier Rabourdin as Alfonso Cecchi
Louise Chevillotte as nun Christina
Hervé Pierre as Paolo Ricordati
Guilaine Londez as nun Jacopa
David Clavel as Giuliano Carlini, Benedetta's father
Clotilde Courau as Midea Carlini, Benedetta's mother
Lauriane Riquet as nun Rosanna
Nicolas Gaspar as the mercenary captain
Following the critical and commercial success of his previous film Elle (2016), director Paul Verhoeven developed several projects including one about Jesus based on his own book Jesus of Nazareth, another about the French Resistance during World War II, and a medieval story set in a monastery scripted by Jean-Claude Carrière.On 25 April 2017, producer Saïd Ben Saïd revealed that the third had been the one chosen as Verhoeven's next project. The film, then titled Blessed Virgin, marked the producer and the director's second collaboration after Elle. Gerard Soeteman, who has worked with Verhoeven on eight previous films including Turkish Delight (1973), The Fourth Man (1983) and Black Book (2006), replaced Carrière to adapt the 1985 non-fiction book Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy by historian Judith C. Brown. Soeteman ultimately distanced himself from the project and had his name removed from the credits as he felt too much of the story was focused on sexuality.
Belgian actress Virginie Efira, who played a supporting part as a devout Catholic in Elle, was cast in the leading role of Benedetta Carlini, a 17th-century nun who suffers from disturbing religious and erotic visions. On 25 March 2018, Saïd Ben Saïd announced that Verhoeven had co-written the final draft with David Birke, who previously wrote Elle. Brown stated that "Paul Verhoeven and David Birke have written an imaginative and spellbinding script that explores the intersection of religion, sexuality, and human ambition in an age of plague and faith."Verhoeven then clarified his intentions:
Blessed Virgin must be deeply infused with a sense of the sacred. I have been interested in the sacred ever since I was a child, both generally and more specifically in music, painting.
On 3 April 2018, Lambert Wilson told French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche that he has a role in the film.On 1 May 2018, Deadline Hollywood revealed that Charlotte Rampling entered negotiations to play a key supporting role.On 4 May 2018, it was announced that the film was retitled to Benedetta. Although Verhoeven had hoped to convince Isabelle Huppert to play a supporting role in the film, producer Saïd Ben Saïd stated on 31 May 2018 that the actress was not joining the project. Ben Saïd also confirmed that Louise Chevillotte, Olivier Rabourdin, Clotilde Courau and Hervé Pierre had been cast in the film.
Principal photography on the retitled production began on 19 July 2018 in Montepulciano, Italy. Other locations included Val d'Orcia and Bevagna, also in Italy, as well as the Silvacane Abbey and Le Thoronet Abbey, in France. Production was followed by a strong campaign of secrecy and no one, unless working on the film, was allowed on the set. Producer Saïd Ben Saïd admitted that the story was "subject to controversy" and feared reactions from fundamentalist Catholic associations.
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