Indie films are some of my most favorite movies. I love the fresh, unconventional, and truly “independent” spirit of these films and the people who make them happen. Sometimes these films make their way to the masses – Slumdog Millionaire is a perfect example — and sometimes not so much. Still, many are worth seeing just for the sheer ingenuity and creativeness that they embody.

Nun of That may not be the next greatest indie film since Slumdog but its trailer has left me with a sense of curiosity about the film.

“After being gunned down in an alley, [Sister Kelly Wrath] ascends to heaven to receive training from some of the great figures of religious mythology. She is then set back to Earth to join the other members of the Order of the Black Habit, a group of supernatural vigilante nuns, as they fight evil and seek revenge against the mob.”

Now before you start clicking around to learn more about Nun of That, I have to warn you that the film is (minimally) R-rated, it is of the horror genre, and it makes a point of promoting blasphemy (the movie premieres on Good Friday this year). It plays on the absolute worst stereotypes of Catholic sisters and nuns and represents them with the “usual” erotica mix: sex, violence, sacredness, profanity, dominance, and submission. In no way do I recommend it as an accurate portrayal of women religious. Absolutely not.

Nun of That

So why am I writing about it? Well, for a couple of reasons. One is to provide a place that people searching for info on this movie might stumble upon and perhaps stick around for a bit to learn about who Catholic sisters and nuns really are. Two, is because frankly I am fascinated and amused (in the incredulous kind of way) by this movie and want to try to understand why these stereotypes are so compelling to people. Indie movies put these kind of things in bold relief for us, and so for me it’s a kind of study to see what folks are thinking so that I can understand it and also address it.

With all that being said, I have to say I am rather fond of one line in the movie: “We are nuns. We don’t know the meaning of the word fear. We are strong, dedicated women who laugh in the face of danger.” In spite of the violence, blasphemy, stereotypes, and abundant cliches, there is something to be said for a film that presents nuns as “strong, dedicated women” who work to fight injustice.

It’s just that we typically don’t use hand grenades and ninja stars to accomplish our mission.