Benedetta is a 2021 France/Belgium/Netherlands historical romance by Paul Verhoeven
Starring Virginie Efira, Charlotte Rampling and Daphne Patakia
nun thriller that features a sex scene that has been slammed by Catholic groups who have claimed it as appalling and blasphemous. The film was released on Good Friday,
A 17th-century nun in Italy suffers from disturbing religious and erotic visions. She is assisted by a companion, and the relationship between the two women develops into a romantic love affair.
The film, Benedetta, directed by Paul Verhoeven, is based upon a real-life
story of a 17th century nun called Benedetta Carlini who is suffering from from disturbing religious and erotic visions.
A scene which features a statue of Virgin Mary being used as a sex toy has been particularly slammed by Catholics. A spokesman
for the Irish Society for Christian Civilisation, Damien Murphy said:
This movie is a fraud and nothing more than a blatant attack on the Catholic faith. There is no way that a director would depict Mohammed acting in
a sexual manner. There is not one director in Hollywood or Europe who would dare mock Mohammed or the Jewish faith -- it just wouldn't happen.
The Irish Society for Christian Civilisation have launched a petition calling for the film
not to be released, which has drawn more than 13,000 petitions. The petition reads:
I strongly oppose and condemn your distribution and promotion of Paul Verhoeven's film Benedetta. It offends God, and countless
Catholics all over the world. This immoral film blasphemously features several Jesus-on-nun intense 'make outs', a statuette of Mary Most Holy used as a sex-toy and voyeuristic lesbian nuns pornography.
The Irish Film Classification
Office rated the film 18 uncut for strong sex and violence including scenes of torture and sexual assault.
The film is being release MPA Unrated in the US.
Meanwhile the BBFC has also rated the film 18 uncut, but for sexual violence, strong
sex, nudity, bloody violence:
The BBFC have additionally commented:
There are scenes of strong sex, including cunnilingus, masturbation and implied penetration with a wooden sex toy. Such scenes also contain sexualised breast, buttock and
genital nudity. In one sequence, a woman masturbates in front of her lover, who is reluctant to engage in sexual acts, ultimately refusing to touch her. sexual violence and sexual threat
A woman is tortured using genital
mutilation; it is implied that a device is used to penetrate her, but this is not shown in strong detail. In another sequence, a man attempts to rape a woman while she is restrained by others, but violence puts an end to the sexual threat.