Director: Jacques Rivette
Year Released: 1966
Suzanne (Anna Karina) gets tossed into a convent by her mother and resists staying there - at first she finds an ally in Mother Superior (Micheline Presle), but she unfortunately passes away, leaving her to be abused by Sister Sainte-Christine (Francine Bergé) and later, seduced by ravenous Mme. de Chelles (Liselotte Pulver). It's tricky to make a Battered Woman movie enticing - for me, at least - and while that stretch of the film ("Walk on her, she's just a corpse") is tiresome, I think the transition from prison-like torture chamber to lesbian sorority to Suzanne becoming a prostitute ("We only know our own suffering") is strangely fascinating, with Karina making a fine lead: she has the angelic face to go with the role. Rivette and Jean Gruault - working off the novel by Diderot - are trying to address some real issues the Church has never really dealt with in a serious fashion (and I'm saying this as a Catholic): there's supposedly been some cleaning up of late, but those lawsuits don't stop rolling in. I'd wager a fair chunk of change that this was a major influence on a certain B. Dumont....