Paul Verhoeven’s films hardly pass the quota without the occasional controversy. It is a particular brand of the Dutch author, who no matter what, constantly awakens passionate reactions in the viewer. His new film will not go down in history being different. Benedetta is the story of a disruptive and ahead of her time nun from the 17th century, who is a lesbian and has an affair with another, a narrative that has sparked outrage from Catholic groups, especially those who gathered outside the Film Festival of New York (NY).
During the moments prior to its screening at the festival, Benedetta brought together a group of New York Catholics who, with banners, songs and prayers, decisively condemned the narrative of Verhoeven’s film. This happened outside Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, during the New York Film Festival.
According IndieWire, the whole thing was not about any kind of publicity campaign for the film. At least that is how they were confirmed by IFC Films, the production company behind the film and a faithful companion of the works of the director in question. In this way the protest was then led by a Catholic group calling itself America Needs Fatima, whose central emblem is the figure of the Virgin Mary.
The group maintains that the film is a kind of blasphemy against the nuns and their craft. According to the banners that can be seen in the videos posted on Twitter, Benedetta It “insults the sanctity of nuns” and is a “blasphemous lesbian” movie. The conglomerate was not violent, because with the music of bagpipes and constant prayers of Aves Marías, they made their message sound while the assistants watched the film inside.
The event was attended only by the film’s screenwriter, David Birke, who designed the script in conjunction with Verhoeven. Bike said he would be willing to go through the script line by line to defend the play and show that the film “is not his fault.”
Before the screening began, Dennis Lim, the festival’s programmer, asked the audience how many of the attendees were Catholic, to which more than a third of the audience raised their hands. Lin then thanked the Protestant groups clustered on the outskirts and warned that “Verhoeven does not provoke without a reason.”
The disapproval of the film by lesser Catholic groups places it on the threshold of the disapproval of larger groups such as the Vatican. Benedetta could thus join films like The last temptation of Christ ddirector Martin Scorsese or I greet you, Maria by Jean-Luc Goddard.
The entry Benedetta: Film about lesbian nuns creates Catholic protests in NY was first published in Cinema PREMIERE.