The Magdalene Sisters

Posted by barb on Aug 24, 2003 in Movies |

4/5 stars

This is not a film to go see if you want a pick-me-up. Though dark, it was quite good, though.

The Magdalene Sisters follows three girls who are forced to become Magdalenes in an Irish convent. These Magdalene laundries were places that devout Catholics could take girls who were thought to be “going down the wrong path”. The three girls we follow each get there for differing offenses — Rose has a baby out of wedlock, Bernadette was an orphan who flirted with guys who hung out around the fence of the orphanage, and Margaret was raped. At the laundry, the girls (there were many women there of all ages — some old and gray) are forced to work from dawn to dusk, they are fed gruel while the nuns eat heartily in the next room. Disobedience is not tolerated, nor are attempts to run away. The only way for a girl to go home is for a family member to come and get her. Since often the only family the girl had was the one that put her there in the first place, we don’t see many girls go home. The essentially become slaves of the church for life. Of course, all of this is done in the name of God.

The scary part is that the Magdalene laundries were real, and the last one was only shut down in 1996. Its amazing how many atrocities have been committed by the Catholic church in the name of God. What’s more of a wonder is that they continue to get away with it.

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