Gemma arteton

A romcom with very little com: BBC1’s Black Narcissus reviewed

In Black Narcissus, based on the novel by Rumer Godden, five nuns set off for a remote Himalayan palace in 1934 to set up a convent school. The palace, donated by an Anglophile general, used to be a harem and was still adorned with erotic paintings. It was also where the general’s sister, Srimati, had committed suicide and where, just a few months previously, a male religious order had tried to establish a school too, before retiring defeated for mysteriously undisclosed reasons. The nuns’ main helper in practical matters, a British expat called Mr Dean (Alessandro Nivola), possessed an overwhelming maleness that expressed itself through such attributes as a chiselled