‘Blasphemous? Of course not.’ Director of lesbian nuns film hits back at critics

‘I did not invent these scenes,’ says Paul Verhoeven defending the graphic violence and sex in his film, based on a true storyIt might be based on a scholarly study of medieval nuns in Tuscany, but Benedetta, the new film from controversial director Paul Verhoeven, is full of lust, gore and brutality, and it has split opinion with equal violence at the Cannes film festival this weekend.The film, by the Dutch director of Basic Instinct and Total Recall, is accused of blasphemy and misogyny by some critics, and of mere lurid camp theatricality by others.

Scenes of torture and of explicit sex, one including the use of a statuette of the Virgin Mary as a sex toy, run through the film.

While some critics have applauded Verhoeven’s bold showmanship, others left the premiere on Friday with a mix of amusement and anger.

Read full article