Spanning over a decade from the early 1950s to the mid-‘60s, Novitiate is about a young girl’s first initiation with love, in this case with God. Raised by a non-religious, single mother in rural Tennessee, a scholarship to Catholic school soon finds Cathleen (Margaret Qualley, The Nice Guys) drawn into the mystery and romanticism of a life devoted to the worship and servitude of God.
“Ritualistic and enthralling, with a complex feminism woven into its cloth, and it’s something of a blessing.” – Julia Cooper, Globe and Mail
With the dawn of the Vatican II era, however, radical changes in the Church are threating the course of nuns’ lives. As she progresses from the postulant to the novitiate stage of training, she finds her faith repeatedly confronted and challenged by the harsh, often inhumane realities of being a servant of God, frequently coming into conflict with the stern Reverend Mother (Academy Award-winner Melissa Leo, The Fighter). Questioning her choices, Cathleen finds herself struggling with issues of faith, sexuality, and recent changes in the life of the Church. (Dir. by Margaret Betts, 2017, USA, 123 mins., Rated R)
Closed Captions and Audio Description Available.