Snapshot: "Flavia the Heretic" (1974)

Nunsploitation is not where you would think to go when looking for reflection on the plight of women through history. 1974's "Flavia the Heretic", directed by Gianfranco Mingozzi, is full-up with exploitative imagery including one truly offensive horse castration. What you might not expect is that it is also laden with ideas about the institutional control and ritualized savagery directed at women in medieval societies; much of it spawned and promoted by organized religion. The above image is part of a sequence where sister Flavia's convent is opened to the members of the Tarantula cult, whose influence transforms the nunnery into a sodomite circus.

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