Behind Convent Walls

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Borowczyk has fetishised prostitution (The Streetwalker) and bestiality (The Beast), so turning out this pastiche of sex-movie staple (the convent as a sexual greenhouse) can't have been too challenging. The film's pace is too slow, and interest in detail overwhelms the narrative. But this waywardness allows some unusual inflexions: masturbation as a real centre of interest, Christ as a laughable sex-martyr. Ultimately the convent-as-haven is exploded: patriarchy intrudes to deliver punishment, and the tale ends (?) with the murder of the abbess and multiple suicide by the nuns.

By: CA

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