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Quality movies about faith and religion are few and far between. Novitiate is exceptional. I might have missed it had it not been for a What to Watch article which lavishes praise on this film, a movie that not only bypassed cinemas, but also the film festival in New Zealand.

Thought-provoking, rage-inducing and timely in the wake of the societal debates of the past year, Betts’ cleverly-crafted drama will have you shifting sympathies as it progresses to it’s heart-wrenching conclusion.

Here is a film with themes of faith, sacrifice, feminism, and sexuality. Brilliantly acted and believable at every turn – however incredible the different world of a massive cloistered community of nuns at the dawn of Vatican II is. The movie is set in the frame of that council after which there was an exodus of 90,000 sisters – an exodus unprecedented in church history. The turmoil is clearly another reformation period.

I highly recommend this film. It is available on DVD and streaming on YouTube, Google Play, and iTunes.

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1 thought on “Novitiate”

  1. I found this to be a strange movie. Perhaps because I could not relate to much of it. There are parts of which I wasn’t sure of their relevance to the story arc. They appeared a bit more gratuitous than relevant.

    Having grown up during the post V2 era and not being Roman Catholic, I wasn’t privy to what the fuss was about. The Revd Mother seemed a cruel, megalomaniacal character who dared anyone to question her, felt the need to keep everyone in the dark for her understanding of their own good and who questioned authority even when she herself demanded unquestioning obedience.

    If there were a lot of characters such as her post V2, no wonder so many nuns and religious women left their orders. They weren’t being led by women capable of prophetic, servant leadership.

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