The Magdalene Sisters


Uploaded on 15 Jan 2011

The Magdalene Sisters (2002)

Written and directed by Peter Mullan and starring Eileen Walsh, Dorothy Duffy, Nora-Jane Noone, Anne-Marie Duff, and Geraldine McEwan, The Magdalene Sisters is based on true events depicted in the documentary, Sex in a Cold Climate. Mullan’s film tells the story of three Dublin women in 1964, fictional composites of real cases. Abandoned by society and cast out by their families for crimes they did not commit, these women found themselves stripped of their liberty and dignity and condemned to indefinite sentences of manual labor. Within the church-run Magdalene Laundries, they were forced into institutional servitude in order to cleanse themselves of the “sins” of which they had been accused. The Magdalene Laundries were institutions sponsored and maintained by the Catholic Church in Ireland for the incarceration of young women thought to be a moral danger to themselves and others – unmarried mothers or simply girls who were considered hussies and whores, no better than they should be. With the legal consent of their fathers, they were imprisoned and made to work for no pay in imitation of Mary Magdalene in laundries, always exploited and in many cases sexually abused. The laundries existed until the 1970s, but the very last did not close until 1996. Peter Mullan has remarked that the film was initially made because victims of Magdalene Asylums had received no closure in the form of recognition, compensation, or apology, and many remained lifelong devout Catholics. Former Magdalen inmate Mary-Jo McDonagh told Mullan that the reality of the Magdalene Asylums was much worse than depicted in the film. ~Taken in part from Wikipedia and a review for the Guardian by Peter Bradshaw



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