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The Magdalene Sisters

The Magdalene Sisters DVD

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Another True and Shocking Story Of The Holy Catholic Church!

  • May 28, 2009
  • by
For much of the 20th century in Ireland, the Roman Catholic Church operated a string of laundries, the Magdalene Asylums, where very young women accused of "moral crimes" were sent to work and repent of their evil ways in a cathartic vision of cleansing the soul while cleaning the laundry. These so-called "moral crimes" were broadly defined as becoming pregnant, getting raped or even flirting with boys or being overly attractive and thus committing the sin of vanity.

In the asylum's history, over 30,000 women were incarcerated, endured the Catholic Churches discipline systems and many died there. Often sexually abused and assaulted by priests, sexually humiliated, assaulted, shamed and beaten within an inch of their lives by their masochistic caretakers, the nuns - those "sweet sisters of mercy".

As a shocker, The last of these horrendous Catholic laundries closed in 1996.
Scottish actor-writer-director Peter Mullan sets the story in 1964, the high-water mark for tension between our modern society and old-line Catholicism.

The story centers on three very young women who were surreptitiously marched off to repent and be slaves for life to the Holy Catholic Church and their "pious" service of community.

Margaret (Anne-Marie Duff) is raped by her cousin at a family wedding and both of her parents place her in the "care" of their village priest and ship her off to the Magelene Laundries to avoid that horrible stigma of shameful family embarrassment; Rose (Dorothy Duffy) is an unwed mother forced by her mother, father and Holy Father to give her baby boy up for adoption, placing him in the Catholic orphanage system, and Bernadette (Nora-Jane Noone) is a Catholic orphanage young and beautiful teenaged girl deemed loose just because she is so pretty, fun and talks to boys.

All three are sent to a Magdalene laundry outside Dublin, where conditions would make the dusty prison farm in "Cool Hand Luke" look like a virtual health spa. These young women are worked 12 to 14 hours a day, 364 days a year (except Christmas, God bless) without any pay, viciously beaten for even speaking out of turn and, in one most disturbing scene, trotted around naked and ridiculed by the nuns.

Overseeing the place is Highhanded Sister Bridget, a witch in a wimpole, well played by the British veteran Geraldine MacEwan.

The other inmates of the Holy Catholic Church are a varied lot. The tragic figure of the mentally disabled, sexually assaulted, and committed Crispina played by Eileen Walsh in an earth shattering performance really stands out as the best performance in the cast, in my humble opinion.

The nuns are given some depth by director, Mullan- Sister Bridget is shown as a whirling devilish mean mother superior one moment, but capable of gushing tears at a Christmas Day screening of "The Bells of St. Mary's."

What is truly unbelievable and disquieting in "The Magdalene Sisters" is how the Irish families of the prisoners aided and abetted such cruel treatment of their own flesh and blood.

When one girl, Una, successfully escapes the laundry, she is beaten within an inch of her life and is dragged back by her father (oddly played by the director, Mullan), who verbally and physically abuses Una every step of the way. Una is handed over to Sister Bernadette and the sister shaves all of Una's beautiful hair off of her beaten and bloodied head which was a regular action taken by the nuns.

In Mullan's portrait of institutionalized shame and suffering, and a society's uniquely cruel form of sexual repression, "The Magdalene Sisters" is a hard pill to take, but certainly worth it for its outpouring of overcoming, raw rage and defiance on the screen.

And if the fact-based movie weren't enough to shock, also included is the British documentary "Sex In A Cold Climate" which interviews several Irish women who were imprisioned during the time of the Catholic Church's REIGN OF TERROR! The documentary exposes even more sick, sad and twisted goings on that the movie didn't even touch upon...

Highly Recommended and Happy Pondering!

The Magdalene Sisters DVD

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June 16, 2009
Wow, I've never heard of this film or this atrocity. Thank you so much for giving it light- I will definitely have to catch it. Hopefully, they have it on Netflix. Great review!
More The Magdalene Sisters reviews
review by . March 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The Magdalene Sisters
   It wasn't the 1800's, it was 1964.  One would assume things had progressed enough to look beyond the slight mistake of an unmarried pregnant daughter.  Instead she is bundled up and scurried off to the depths of depravity known as the Magdalene Laundries.  She wasn't alone, the building was full of those known as The Magdalene Sisters, the girls that had disgraced their families.  It was ruled by the Catholic Church and it wasn't pretty.  …
About the reviewer
Sheila Chilcote-Collins ()
Ranked #156
I enjoy writing my own reviews, listmanias, 'So You'd Like To's' on Amazon and love reading other people's thoughts. I own in excess of 1000 movies, 800+ albums, & 500+ books. … more
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Movies, Nonfiction, Dvd, Ireland, 20th Century, Womens Rights, Roman Catholic Church, Dorothy Duffy, Moral Crimes, Humanitarian Crimes, Norajane Noone, Peter Mullan, Magdalene Asylums, Annemarie Duff


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