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(aka "The Nun")


Directed by Jacques Rivette
France 1966


Jacques Rivette’s THE NUN (1965), initially banned in France, can now be seen in all its revolutionary glory. Adapted from Denis Diderot’s novel, it follows a rebellious nun (played by an incandescent Anna Karina) who is forced into taking her vows. Initially shunted into a restrictive, torturous convent, she eventually moves on to a more liberated one, where she becomes an object of Mother Superior’s (Liselotte Pulver) obsession. Banned for over a year by the French Minister of Information, and not released in the United States until 1971, it slowly became a landmark of the French New Wave, and with this stunning restoration, should also become an object of worship.


This critically acclaimed moral drama is taken from a book written in 1760 by Denis Diderot. Suzanne (Anna Karina) is an intelligent, freedom-loving woman who is forced into a convent against her will. The fact that she was sired by a man who is not her mother's husband -- and that a suitable dowry cannot be paid for her -- bring her to the church. Suzanne endures continual harassment from one Mother Superior (Micheline Presle). Transferred to a different convent, she becomes subject to lesbian leanings from another Mother Superior (Liselotte Pulver), who flees with a priest (Francisco Rabal) who says he too was forced into a life of religion. The controversial subject matter caused the feature to be banned for two years, despite assurances to director Jacques Rivette by censors. The subsequent ban helped the film (shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 1966) gain more recognition. Rivette's cynical references to Catholicism as the ultimate theater enraged the Catholic Film Office, the agency that spearheaded the opposition to the film.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE


Theatrical Release: May 6th, 1966 (Cannes Film Festival)

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Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:20:50.275        

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,531,421,698 bytes

Feature: 42,930,536,448 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:


DTS-HD Master Audio French 1795 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1795 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1558 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1558 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:


1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,531,421,698 bytes

Feature: 42,930,536,448 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video


Edition Details:

Audio commentary by film critic Nick Pinkerton
Booklet essay by Dennis Lim, director of programming at the Film Society of Lincoln Center
"Suzanne Simonin, La Scandaleuse", a new making-of documentary (29:16 minutes)
Trailer (01:32)
La Prisonniere trailer (04:02)

Blu-ray Release Date:
May 29th, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case i

Chapters 10




NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (May 2019): 


Jacques Rivette’s 1966 film "The Nun" (aka "La religieuse") arrives on Blu-ray thanks to Kino Lorber, under their Kino Classics sub-label. This is a 4K restoration from the original lm negative. The Blu-ray is dual-layered, and the 1.85:1 1080p image has a maxed out bitrate. The booklet contains these notes on the restoration:

"The 4K image and sound restoration, developed in partnership with the CNC, the French Cinetmatheque and the Franco-Americon Cultural Fund was made from the original negative. The work has been handled by the laboratory L'IMMAGINE RITROVATA under the supervision of Ms. Veronique Manniez-Rivette. "

This Ritrovata restoration is very reminiscent of their recent offerings (The Tree Of Wooden Clogs, The Color of Pomegranates, Death in Venice) in that the film has quite a heavy green cast to most of the dimly-lit scenes (with the white parts of the habits looking greenish-blue). After some time passed, this palette seemed less intrusive but is still prominent - see the screen captures below. The teal-leaning hue does briefly disappear during a scene outside in the sunshine. To be fair, I have no idea if this palette is faithful to the original theatrical presentation, and I should restate the endorsement of Ms. Veronique Manniez-Rivette. The back of the Blu-ray package has photos of scenes from the film that have none of this greenish-blue-gray look at all. Strange. The film has a soft look to the image, with appropriate amounts of grain.

"The Nun" features a 24-bit lossless 2.0 mono DTS-HD Master audio track. Dialogue is clear and audible, and the various echoes and drafty breezes create a real sense of isolation imposed on the cloistered sisters. The interesting percussive score is thanks to composer Jean-Claude Eloy (who also composed the score for Rivette's 1969 film "L'amour fou"). There are optional English subtitles on this Region 'A'-locked

Film critic Nick Pinkerton provides a commentary for the film. Pinkerton covers a wide-array of topics, from the censorship issues the film faced, to the film's origins in fact and fiction. "Suzanne Simonin, La Scandaleuse", is a new 30-minute making-of documentary. The film's trailer is also included, as is a trailer for "La Prisonniere" (also out from Kino Classics). Dennis Lim (director of programming at the Film Society of Lincoln Center) has a very informative essay included in the accompanying booklet, entitled "Twisted Sister".

This new 4K restoration of Jacques Rivette’s "The Nun" features an impressive transfer, although it is somewhat marred by Ritrovata's odd green/blue/gray tinting. If this is the intended look of the film, I do apologize, but with Ritrovata constantly transferring films to look this way, one must suspect that something is awry. The film, on the other hand, is powerful and moving, something that no transfer could ever destroy. The
Blu-ray extras are very helpful to contextualize the film, especially with Pinkerton's commentary, Lim's essay, and the making-of documentary. Recommended to fans of Rivette, with the greenest of caveats. 

Colin Zavitz


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Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



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