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This review is from: The Magdalene Sisters [DVD]  (DVD)
Possibly the film of the year. The Magdalene laundries operated in Ireland till 1996. "Fallen" women were taken into these institutions to wash the vestements and wimples of priests and nuns.
The story follows three women who enter one such institution.
One has a child out of wedlock, one feeling the first pangs of puberty, one raped by her cousin. We follow their lives inside, victim of the whims of the satantic Mother Superior (superbly played by Geraldine McEwan).
Although this sound dark-and it is, at times unbearably powerful-there are moments of dark humour inside. In these terms, I would compare it to One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - I can pay it no higher compliment.
Writer director Peter Mullan (who also cameo's as one of the girl's Father) has crafted a small, powerful, angry, funny masterpiece. The film only loses it's way in the last 10 minutes, when we found out what happens to the girls after they leave the laundry. Although all the stories are based on real ones, this mix of fantasy and reality never really works.
This is not, as it's critics would have you believe a vicious piece of anti-catholic propaganda. It is enourmously respectful of faith and belief, it just points out as Graves said: "the true fiend rules in god's name."
Go and buy it. As a footnote, know that Magdalene laundries are still in existance in India and Eastern Europe.
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Initial post: 4 Apr 2011 01:27:21 BDT
It is truly sobering to be told that the Hell-on-Earth depicted in this film continues to be practised now in parts of Europe that are (presumably) member states of the EU, hence subject to its human rights regulations - but of course, its victims are 'protected' from any outside influence and therefore cannot challenge the religious dictatorship that imprisons them
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