Sunday, August 5, 2012

Random Movie Review: The Magdalene Sisters

The Magdalene Sisters (2002)
Starring: Geraldine McEwan, Anne-Marie Duff, Nora-Jane Noone

The Magdalene Sisters revolves around three young women who are sent to what amounts to a religious rehabilitation centre. Each from different families, Rose had a child out of wedlock, Margaret was raped and Bernadette, well she just like flirting with the boys. Each of their families decide they need to pray their way back into gods graces and are sent to the Magdalene Asylum. While there, they witness and endure many acts of humiliation and abuse. Many of the women at the asylum have given in to the situation, mostly due to having no other options. The three girls, however, never give up hope and eventually do get away.

This is a gripping tale of the feminist movement within the catholic church. There are a few scenes in particular that are very effective. In one scene, one of the staff has the entire group of ladies strip naked and points out various humiliating things about them (such as who has the most pubic hair, biggest/smallest boobs, fattest, etc.) In another scene, a girl who has slept with a priest and gets a poison ivy rash from a practical joke played on him repeats 'you are not a man of god' over and over again, going from strange to uncomfortable and eventually you just can't look away.  She gets sent to a mental institution to hush her up, where it is explained she eventually dies of anorexia.

I will leave out my stance on religion and simply say that this points out a situation that has in some form surely happened. NOT that it is the norm for religious families to send their family to places like this, nor am I certain whether you could find a place like this in today's world (this is set in 1960's Ireland). I also have never been to Ireland, so I suppose I can't comment on anything there, religious or otherwise. But I digress, this movie was enjoyable. I was pulled in and began rooting for 2/3 of the main three and had a mild fondness for the third. I will give this movie a 7.75/10. Not quite an 8, but it was pretty good and my enjoyment for it grows stronger as time goes on.

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