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Synopsis

France, in the 1760s. Born to a bourgeois family, Suzanne (Pauline Etienne) is a beautiful young girl with a natural talent for music. Despite her faith, she is dismayed when her parents send her off to a convent, expecting her to become a nun. Suzanne first resists the rules of the convent, but soon finds out that she is an illegitimate child, leaving her no other option than to pronounce her vows and suffer the consequences of her mother’s sin.
She soon wants to escape the religious path and is trying to revoke her vows when the Mother Superior, who had brought her comfort and solace, dies. Her successor, Sister Christine (Louise Bourgoin), turns out to be a sadistic and cruel Mother Superior, inflicting the worst forms of humiliation upon Suzanne, such as depriving her of food and clothing. Suzanne is finally transferred to another convent, where she discovers another kind of Mother Superior (Isabelle Huppert), who develops an inappropriate affectionate bond with her…
Adapted from Diderot’s eponymous novel, The Nun tells the story of a woman trying to resist imposed religious values, revealing the dehumanizing effect of cloistered life.

Script

Guillaume Nicloux, Jérôme Beaujour, based upon Diderot's book

Cast

Pauline Etienne, Isabelle Huppert, Louise Bourgoin, Martina Gedeck, Francoise Lebrun

French release

March 20, 2013

Producers

Worso films, Belle Epoque Films (Ger.), Versus production (BE), Rhônes-Alpes Cinema, France 3 Cinema, Gifted Films, RTBF, Belgacom

Financial partners

Eurimages, Sofica Manon, MFG Baden-Württemberg, DFFF, Aid to the Franco-German co-pro, French community of Belgium, Tax Shelter, Media Program, Angoa

French distribution & International sales

The pact

Broadcast

Canal+, Cine+, France TV

Festivals & awards

  • Berlinale - Competition

  • Rendez-vous with French Cinéma - New York, Paris, Singapore

  • Cesar Awards

  • Most Promising actress​

  • French Film Festival in the Czech Republic

  • Hong Kong French Film Festival

  • Stockholm International Film

  • Stuttgart International French Language Film Festival

  • Mumbain Film Festival

  • Chicago International Film Festival

  • Bienne French Film Festival

  • Montreal World Film Festival

  • Berlin International Film Festival

  • Magritte - Best actress Award