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Filled with powerful performances, NOVITIATE is about a young girl's first initiation with love, in this case with God. Raised by a non-religious, single mother in rural Tennessee in the 1950s, a scholarship to Catholic school soon finds Cathleen drawn into the mystery and romanticism of a life devoted to God. As she progresses from the postulant to the novitiate stage of training, she finds her faith repeatedly challenged by the harsh, often inhumane realities of being a servant of God. With the dawn of the Vatican II era, Cathleen finds herself struggling with issues of faith, sexuality and radical changes in the Church which threaten the course of nuns' lives.