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The Magdalene Sisters (2002)The Magdalene Sisters (2002)

The Magdalene Sisters (2002)

Drama, History

7.8

movie

Ireland, UK

English, Latin

Dark, Depressing, True-crime

2002

Peter Mullan

Anne-Marie Duff, Britta Smith, Chris Patrick-Simpson

119 min

Synopsis

Four women are given into the custody of the Magdalene sisterhood asylum to correct their sinful behavior: Crispina and Rose have given birth to a premarital child, Margaret got raped by her cousin and the orphan Bernadette had been repeatedly caught flirting with the boys. All have to work in a laundry under the strict supervision of the nuns, who break their wills through sadistic punishment.

Our Take

7.8
Shruti Pillai

This is a touching saga based on the plight of the women labelled as “fallen” that the Magdalene Laundries housed in Ireland. The movie grips you by the throat right from the first minute and the sense of injustice to women that characterizes the entire length of the film only rarely eases up to give you room to appreciate the emotional complexities that each individual character represents.
The stories of Margaret, Bernadette and Rose and the people they meet inside the Magdalene Laundry will force you to ask time and again during the movie, “Why?” and “Who are they to?”. You will share in Bernadette’s sense of outrage, in Rose’s compassion and Margaret’s acute fear of the church, of speaking up and asking for justice. So much so, that you may even find yourself identifying with (or at least understanding) Crispina’s questionable grasp on reality. Worst of all, the devout Catholic establishment that this was, hypocrisy and corruption ran through its every vein, adding to the shock and resentment that builds towards the, for the lack of a better word, captors of our protagonists.
The Magdalene Sisters is a tribute to one of the forgotten chapters in a long history of injustice to women and an absolutely moving one at that. It does not fail to utterly horrify while it also warms your heart.

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