Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun

Synopsis: 16-year-old Maria is forced into Serra D'Aires convent, secretly run by Satanists. Her confessor is in collusion with the Mother Superior. Maria is tortured, forced into sex with men, women, and the horned Devil, and told that it's all a bad dream. She writes a letter to God, and a Knight rescues her, only to fall into the hands of the Inquisition, put on the rack, and condemned to death like Joan of Arc.
80 min

This is the story of a girl

who wrote a letter to God... God replied.


You're just playing a joke on me

to frighten me.

Come on, stop that.

Do you think

l'm naive enough to fall for that?


Stop scaring me.


Aren't you ashamed of yourself,

teasing this poor thing?

This poor thing prefers teasing me -

making me climb the highest tree

for the best apples

or pushing me into the pond.

Just because l want a kiss,

she makes a fool out of me!

- Marie!

- Cristy, you can't do that!

- Marie!

- See?

You little witch!

Catch me!

Come on, catch me!

Just you wait! What will happen

if l catch you?

Please forgive me, most gracious Father.

l thought we were alone.

So l gathered, from your behaviour.

- Where are you, Marie?

- Breaking chastity before God's servant!


Please, you are mistaken.

lt hasn't been broken.

How would you know?

What parish do you belong to?

We belong to Veiga Baixa,

the neighbouring village.

- Who are your parents?

- l live with my mother.

- She has no husband.

- How old are you?

- 16.

- And you, son?

l'm over 18.

Go straight home.

l will have another word with you later.

And if l find out that you seduced her,

you will be duly punished.

Because those who flout

the commandment of chastity...

But, Reverend Father, Marie is an angel.

- l'll soon be taking her up the aisle.

- l don't know anything about that.

See? She's contradicting you.

She's resisting her seducer.

Come on, Marie. Don't be foolish.

- Are you going with him?

- No.

l'll take you home.

l need to speak to your mother.

Directed by Jess Franco

Until this unhappy day, she had led

a godly life, Reverend Father.

Yes, but if your daughter were to die

tomorrow, she would be condemned to hell.

And you would have neglected

your Christian duties.

But, Father, what can l do?

l have to work

to put food on the table for us.

- l have been a washerwoman for 20 years.

- That is praiseworthy.

Do you distil this schnapps yourself?

Yes, Reverend Father.

You're very efficient.

Would you like a bottle, Father?

Will you let me

give you one to take with you?

Well, if you insist...

but don't think that giving me presents

will change my mind

about saving this evil-spirited child.

lt is not too late to tear her soul away

from the grip of Satan.

l am counting on your consent to me

taking her on as a novice in a convent.

Thank you for your kindness, Father.

You make me feel ashamed.

The abbess of Serra d'Aires only takes in

daughters of the highest nobility.

But as her confessor,

l can put in a good word for you.

l'll persuade her

to overlook your circumstances.

What's more, she will reduce the cost

of taking your daughter into the cloister

by bringing it into line with your means.

One delicate matter.

lf the novice is not accepted for any reason,

the money will go to the abbey.

Reverend Father,

l am as poor as a church mouse.

l have been honest with you.

Perhaps not entirely honest.

You must have something saved.

20 years of tireless work

must bring some sort of return.

You shouldn't scrimp

on trying to save Marie.

But, Father, what can l give you

if l don't have anything?

Do you wish to continue

to tolerate her depraved life?

Do you want to leave her

to the devil's mercy?

Do you wish the power

of the Holy lnquisition on your daughter?

Please, Reverend Father, not that!

Help me! For God's sake, help!

l have 500 reales put away.

ln case l ever became ill...

l wonder if 500 will suffice.

Well, at least it shows

that you're willing to contribute your mite.

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Mariana Alcoforado

Sóror Mariana Alcoforado (Santa Maria da Feira, Beja, 22 April 1640 – Beja, 28 July 1723) was a Portuguese nun living in the convent of the Poor Clares (Convento de Nossa Senhora da Conceição, Convent of Our Lady of the Conception) in Beja, Portugal. Debate continues as to whether Mariana was the real Portuguese author of the Letters of a Portuguese Nun (comprising five letters). Her purported love affair with the French officer Noël Bouton, Marquis de Chamilly and later Marshal of France, has made Beja famous in literary circles, mainly in Portugal and France. Some literary scholars consider the letters a fictional work and their authorship is ascribed to Gabriel-Joseph de Lavergne, comte de Guilleragues (1628–1684), although a real nun named Mariana Alcoforado indeed existed. In her recent book Letters of a Portuguese Nun: Uncovering the Mystery Behind a Seventeenth-Century Forbidden Love (2006), the author Myriam Cyr has attempted to reassert the attribution of the letters to the real Mariana Alcoforado. For information about authorship and publication of the letters, see "Letters of a Portuguese Nun". more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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