1760s France. Suzanne is shocked when her bourgeois family sends her to a convent. There she faces oppression and torment, leading her to fight back and expose the dehumanizing effect of cloistered life.
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Lang Khê Tran
France, in the 1760s. Born to a bourgeois family, Suzanne (Pauline Etienne) is a beautiful young girl with a natural talent for music. Despite her faith, she is dismayed when her parents send her off to a convent, expecting her to become a nun. Suzanne first resists the rules of the convent, but soon finds out that she is an illegitimate child, leaving her no other option than to pronounce her vows and suffer the consequences of her mother's sin. She soon wants to escape the religious path and is trying to revoke her vows when the Mother Superior, who had brought her comfort and solace, dies. Her successor, Sister Christine (Louise Bourgoin), turns out to be a sadistic and cruel Mother Superior, inflicting the worst forms of humiliation upon Suzanne, such as depriving her of food and clothing. Suzanne is finally transferred to another convent, where she discovers another kind of Mother Superior (Isabelle Huppert), who develops an inappropriate affectionate bond with her... Adapted ...Written by
1966 version was better, people who say this show how bad the Church was are missing the context entirely
I am a fan of Diderot by way of Rousseau. And his novel was interesting in the letter based structure. It quite forward thinking for its time, in that while the Enlightenment was directly challenging many statistic and institutional ideas, very few Enlightenment writers were including women in their considerations.
That said the user reviews here and especially the professional reviews are a bit overwrought as a result of leaving out context. Firstly almost all people were locked into vocation, virtually never of their own choosing, as everything about their life. Certainly married women were, and subject to control and violence that makes anything in "The Nun" pale by comparison. So too was just about anyone else for most of human history. Either overtly owned or tied to the land and their "station' and subject to warlord or state violence for for chalking that.
Certainly in mid/late 18h century Nuns were eating better (no small thing in world were people regularly starved to death), were safer in almost every way than most other people, certainly than the great majority of men, who were much more likely to be inducted into the military as cannon fodder.
Again, the 1966 version is better, and better yet is the novel.
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