Paul Verhoeven does a simpler version of Elle, with added black plague. Another unnecessary addition is the “based on a real story” bullshit.

The heroine is a little girl touched by enormous charisma and acting skills. Even as a little girl, she could whisk away thieves on the road, avoid being crushed by falling statues, and provoke the envy of fellow novices.

Her pathway to ecstasy falls into her lap (hehehe) when a poor girl, ravished by her male relatives, escapes to the convent. Benedetta’s relative foot the substantial bill, and soon they get to know themselves better, in the biblical sense. Physical ecstasy puts her closer to God(damn, that feels good), and she starts to make the Jesus visions public.

When this raises to the level of stigmata, the mother superior sees this for the self-inflicted wounds they are, but the priest can only see Assisi-level pilgrimages and a promotion to bishop. This leads to Benedetta being nominated Mother Superior, and the old crone is demoted. The old mother superior takes this in stride, but her daughter and subordinate Christina is enraged (how this happened is glossed over).

Christina denounces Benedetta as a fraud, and raises false witness against her, which get her shunned by all, including her own mother. Only when she throws herself off the clock tower does her mother really understands what she did. The shame…

As a revenge, the old mother superior goes straight to Florence, to the pope representative. Plague has struck the city, and thousands of bodies and future dead are littered in the streets. The nuncio accepts the invitation to move his travelling circus of horrors to her small village.

The Holy Inquisition goes to work on Benedetta’s naïve nubile lover, the weakest link in the chain. She is threatened with more sexual violence, of which she fled, and folds, denouncing Benedetta as a heathen, and betraying the secret location of their wooden dildo.

This is the proof they need, Benedetta will dig through the ditches and burn to the witches. The nubile girl is forgiven like a better version of Judas. But, plot twist! Just as the Inquisitors are burning Benedetta, she has another vision and curses the nuncio to eternal damnation for bringing plague to the town.

A riot breaks out, and she escapes the flames. The nuncio is outed as plague-borne, and some Judith comes out of the crowd murder Holofernes:

Judith Slaying Holofernes

Benedetta and the nubile girl don’t live happily ever after, since her childish ways are boorish for old hardcore Jesus conduits. So much for discarding people like wet rags…

Charlotte Rampling being type cast as a nun (or Bene Gesserit) is hilarious, considering Zardoz.


This is my place for ramblings about sequences of images that exploit the human visual limitation know as persistence of vision.

Ephemera of Vision