movie review of 'Magdalene Sisters'

To the Editor:

I would like to comment on Carole Duran's movie review titled "Magdalene Sisters" Poses Tough Questions, written by Peter Mullen, dated November 14, 2003. She states that it is a true story, and that we should all run right out and see it. This R-rated movie is actually called a semi-fictionalized true account, but the distinction between fiction and reality appear constantly blurred. It is billed as a scathing social commentary, but it is laden with stereotyped depictions devoid of any nuance. Its shoddy theology ignores the basics of any kind of Catholic spirituality.

The story is not very pretty. The sisters in this movie are turned into what the director termed "Taliban militants." Mr. Mullan's portrayal of the Catholic reformatory could not be more merciless. He treats the sisters with all the cruelty that he imagines they treated the girls under their care. It is easy to see why Vatican radio characterized the film as an "angry and rancorous provocation".

The R-rated movie is also totally unacceptable from a moral viewpoint since it becomes a kind of a porno-documentary which spices up its story with scenes of nudity and implied sexual activity. The script is peppered with sordid language as the actors continuously intermingle obscenities in their dialogue, but Ms. Duran said the movie is well written.

This is appalling that every nun, priest or person in authority is presented as evil. It seems to ignore all the good that nuns have done throughout the centuries. On the contrary, the girls are presented as victim-saints, setting the stage for a classical face off between these innocent victims and a hopelessly corrupt and hypocritical system. The so-called reviews the movie has received indicate Mr. Mullan's politically correct pseudo-documentary is being accepted as Gospel truth.

The organization, America Needs Fatima, is asking Catholics all over the country to add their voice of protest to what it considers crass distortions and porno-depictions.

There have been many protests (as Ms. Duran also stated) to the makers of this movie, Disney/Miramax Films. Before distributing the film, they should have considered just a few of the many aspects that insult Catholic nuns and the Catholic Church and its institutions.

Kathy Wynn

Honey Brook

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