The line between good and bad, pure and evil is so thin ... you don't always realize you crossed it. Or in this case a character. And when I say character I mean "historical figure". In a sense - and let me be clear, I was not aware (nor am I after watching the movie I dare say) of the real Benedetta.
Paul Verhoeven likes to provoke and I am certain he did change quite a few things surrounding the ... "myth"(?) of our titular character. Take that with a grain of salt ... or a Jesus on a cross for that matter (pun very much intended and if that offends you - well you better not watch the movie, unless you like getting angry and upset of course).
There is some violence and blood, though the most cruel and "hurtful" scene happens off camera ... still just the thought of it ... and that I believe is something that did happen back then - probably exactly like that. Not spoiling anything by saying that - and also not spoiling anything by saying there is quite a lot of nudity in this. It's Paul Verhoeven, what did you expect? Kudos to the actresses and their more than brave performances (with or without clothes - excellently played).
The cast in general can be showered in praise. The costumes, make up effects, cinematography and sound design are working hand in hand, to bring you back .. so you feel like you are part of that timeline. A really tough story and one with a weird main character ... can we actually sympathize with her? I think if anything we are rooting more for her "lover" ... that being said, the movie is quite critical of almost everyone - but mainly the church. Sometimes subtle, sometimes openly going after things that were practised back in the day ... also how the public perceives things can be a good or a bad thing ... but we knew that - didn't we? And with that I say ... "enjoy" - and believe whatever you want to believe!