Guillaume Nicloux directs this French-language adaptation of the novel by Denis Diderot.
The film follows the fortunes of Suzanne (Pauline Etienne), the child of a wealthy family who is committed to a nunnery against her will.
When informed by her mother Simonin (Martina Gedeck) that she is an illegitimate child, the reasons for her internment become clear to Suzanne: to ease the financial burden on her cash-strapped family and to alleviate her mother's feeling of having 'sinned' by giving birth to her.
Suzanne's woes are multiplied by first-hand experience of the corruption and impiety of the church.
Viciously abused by Supérieure Christine (Louise Bourgoin), Suzanne attempts to escape her plight through a series of letters begging authority figures to intervene and have her vows annulled.
Will she manage to break free?