The Magdalene Sisters (2002)

Imdb Ranking 7.8

The movie is set in 1960's Ireland, and it tells the story of three girls who are placed in the care of the priests and nuns in the Magdalene Sanctuary. The movie opens at a family party where a young girl is raped upstairs by one of her cousins. When she tells her mother, it is Margaret who is taken away by the priest.

Bernadette is sort of a flirt at the orphanage and under the eye of the adults. One day her things were gone so was she.

Next we see Rose who has just given birth to a little boy. Her mother and father won't even look at the new baby. Rose gives the baby up for adaption but instantly regrets it.

The girls then march in together to the Magdalene Sanctuary. Sister Bridget talks to the girls and is mean and sarcastic to them. Rose is made to change her name to Patricia, her confirmation name, since they already have a Rose there. Rose runs away and goes home but her father (played by director Peter Mullan) brings her back and beats her for good measure. He says "You got no home. You got no mother. You got no father. You killed us, you slut. You killed us both."

Simple minded Crispina's sister brings Crispina's two year old boy to a gate where she can see him from a distance. Sister Bridget cuts off all of Rose's hair and whips Bernadette and Crispina with a stick. The girls are made to work like slaves.

Bernadette starts flirting and kissing a delivery boy, Brendan, hoping that he can help get her out but in the end he backs out. But in the end he backs out and Bernadette is caught and all of her hair is cut off. Then the nuns make the girls work out naked, and then pick the one with the biggest breasts, smallest breasts, and biggest back. The girls are totally demeaned and all are near tears, but the nuns just laugh.

When Crispina loses her St. Christopher medal she tries to hang herself. Rose gets outside the gates, but has no place to go, so she goes back inside. When the girls march is a religious parade they are at first excited but no one from the town will look at them.

For some reason Rose doesn't think Father Fitzroy is a man of God, so she puts some poisonous plant leaves in with his laundry. At an outdoor mass he is presiding over, he begins to feel the burn and strips off his clothes as he runs towards the woods, to the bemusement of the girls. Ceispina then keeps shouting "You're not a man of God."

A local man brings in a projector and they show the girls "The Bells of St. Mary's." The girls see the irony in the way Sister Mary Benedict (Ingrid Bergman) acts, but the nuns don't see it themselves.

Margaret's brother, Eamonn, comes and he has a letter from a priest and he takes her out of the Magdalene Sanctuary. Rose is bitter it took him four years to come but Eamonn said he was growing up.

Bernadette and Rose decide to make a break for it. They go in to the Sister Bridget's office to get some keys and Sister Bridget walks in and begins beating Bernadette. Bernadette wrestles the key away from her and the girls escape.

Rose and Bernadette go to Bernadette's cousin and she gives them some money so that Rose can escape on a bus. Bernadette stays behind to train as a hairdresser with her cousin.

A very good movie that shows how sometimes people doing things in the name of religion sometimes do the most evil things. They somehow lose their sense as they try to do what they think is right. This was a very sad story told very well.