Films A to Z

La Religieuse

114 min.
Year of Production:
Pauline Etienne
Isabelle Huppert
Louise Bourgoin
Martina Gedeck
Production Company:
Les Films du Worso
Berlinale Section:

Suzanne Simonin describes her life of suffering in letters. As a young woman she is
sent to a convent against her will. Since her parents cannot afford the dowry required
for a marriage befitting her rank they decide she must instead become a nun.
Although a kind and understanding Mother Superior helps her to learn the convent’s
daily routine, Suzanne’s desire for freedom remains unabated. When the Mother
Superior dies, Suzanne finds herself faced with reprisals, humiliation and harassment
at the hands of the new Abbess and the other Sisters. For many years, Suzanne is
subjected to bigotry and religious fanaticism.
Denis Diderot’s novel has been adapted for the screen several times. In 1966 Jacques
Rivette made a flm version with Anna Karina and Liselotte Pulver so daringly critical of
the church it was temporarily banned by the French censors. Guillaume Nicloux
however concentrates on the fate of a young woman pitted against a merciless
system which crushes the individual. His film gradually divorces itself from the
circumstances of this particular story to describe a universal drama.

FILMOGRAFIE Guillaume Nicloux (selection)

 La Religieuse 

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