The Magdalene Sisters

Torturous and powerful, writer-director Peter Mullan’s drama, The Magdalene Sisters, is, alas, more than a fictional account. The film, set in 1964 Ireland, tells the story of Bernadette (Nora-Jane Noone), Margaret (Anne-Marie Duff), Rose (Dorothy Duffy), and Crispina (Eileen Walsh), who are sent to a Magdalene convent — where supposedly promiscuous girls symbolically cleansed their sinful souls by washing laundry, and received merciless punishments and sexual advances in return. Stunning newcomer Noone delivers an enrapturing performance as a defiant orphan determined to escape, while Geraldine McEwan chills as a monstrous nun whose cruelty seems boundless. EXTRAS ”Sex in a Cold Climate” chronicles the history of the Magdalene asylums (finally shut down in 1996) and offers testimony from four of the 30,000 women who withstood life within their harrowing walls.

The Magdalene Sisters
  • Movie
  • 119 minutes