A sullen girl is imprisoned in France. A young nun in Brazil is tormented by mysterious abdominal pain. Father Joachim (Gerard Depardieu), the priest-surgeon assigned to the nun's case, is mystified by her ailment and fascinated when its cause cannot be determined. Perhaps he sees in the young woman's secretiveness a reflection of his own violent past? What is the connection between these cases and the mysterious words "screel deen" that the nun screams in her agonies?
The filmmaker strings us along for the better part of an hour, as we tease out the mysterious connections. We are treated to mysterious voodoo rituals on the beach, a nosy journalist wannabe, an improbably love story and a mother with secrets of her own. There is so much deliberate confusion and unclear switched identities that by the end, I wasn't sure what happened and I cared even less.
BTW: This film is rated R only for 1 shot of a nun binding her breasts during the opening credits.