Today a Jesuit friend and filmmaker sent me a link to a new documentary, "A Question of Habit."
It is being released this month by filmmaker Michael T. Whalen and "explores popular culture’s fascination with all things 'nun' and dives into the real stories behind the women religious in the United States from the battle field medics of the Civil War to the creators of the first HMO in the Country to the political activists fighting against capital punishment."
It is narrated by Susan Sarandon who won an Oscar playing Sr. Helen Prejean in the film "Dead Man Walking." Though it begins with pop culture, it soon turns to reverence. I have not seen the entire film yet, but did ask for a screener.
I am not sure I agree with the two experts in the preview who believe that people no longer understand who nuns are, that the historical and moral connection has been lost, and that nun kitsch is just that.
I think that nun "kitsch" works because people do get what being a nun, or woman religious means -- and what she stands for, especially when it comes to chastity.