First of all, I have no idea why this movie is called The Convent. It takes place in a monastery.
This is one of the most sincerely bizarre films I have ever seen. Moodily photographed at an (real) abandoned monastery on the Portuguese coast, this chamber drama of six characters (three couples) is a throwback to the Faust and Eden stories, both at once, and seems, despite the literary and Biblical antecedents, completely fresh and unexpected, peppered with offbeat humor and framed with a sometimes mournful, sometimes terrifying musical score by the Russian composer by Sofia Gubaidulina. (If you fall in love with the music, as I did, the pieces are called "Officitorum" and "The Seven Last Words of Christ" and both are available on CD in excellent recordings. "Officitorum is a LONG, wildly expressionist violin piece which ends in the more formal and haunting part showcased in the movie.) The international cast speaks English, French and Portuguese indifferently.
To people with a little patience, a sense of playfulness and an eye for the strange and beautiful, this film is a real Halloween treat. After having watched the movie, you don't remember it so much as a movie. You remember it more as a dream. Days later you'll ask yourself: Did I see what I thought I saw, or am I imagining it?
Frankly, I'm thrilled The Convent gotten this new inexpensive DVD release.