If you had to imagine the ultimate Paul Verhoeven movie — the ultimate filmic expression of the guy who directed RoboCop, Basic Instinct, and Showgirls — a drama about lesbian nuns might be it. And that is what Verhoeven has made with Benedetta which has already premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and is now coming to American theaters (and VOD) this fall.

The movie is based on reveal events (or at least loosely inspired by them, this is Paul Verhoeven here, there’s going to be some artistic license taken). It’s adapted from a non-fiction book involving the story of an Italian nun in the 17th century. But, again, this is Verhoeven we’re talking about; do not expect a bland historical drama. Based on the trailer alone, you can see things get far wilder than your average religious period piece. Watch it below:

Benedetta is Verhoeven’s first movie in five years; his last work was the Oscar-nominated Elle. It might sound like an exploitation picture, but the film got great reviews out of Cannes. (It currently has an 84 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.) But then — and pardon the pun — Verhoeven’s movies have always straddled the line between the arthouse and the grindhouse. Like I said, this really might be the ultimate expression of the Verhoeven aesthetic.

Here is Benedetta’s official synopsis:

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. Based on Judith C. Brown's Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy.

Benedetta opens in theaters and on demand on December 3.

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