Thursday, November 18, 2004

Gut Wrenching
I finally watched "The Magdalene Sisters" (link below). Brutal. I have no direct knowledge but I think, though it is fiction, it is based on facts. It is a movie of sufficient power and anguish that it could easily lead to very strong anti-Catholic feelings. It brought me as close to wanting to punch a nun as anything in my life with the possible exception of Algebra II at Duke. ... Don't ask.
It's tough but I do recommend it. It's the story of Irish girls in the 1960s who were thought to be at risk of sexual activity or who had conceived out of wedlock. They were sent to work in the laundries of the Magdalene Asylums where they were
treated as galley slaves. There is a particular difficult scene where one old woman who had spent her entire life in the laundries is abed, dying, talking with one of the leading girls about how she didn't want to go to the hospital but wanted to stay with the nuns. The girl then leans close and tells the dying woman that the nuns didn't care about her, they just wanted her for work so she should do them a favor and just die. As I said, brutal. But it had the ring of truth.
Joni Mitchell has a song on her "Turbulent Indigo" album about the "Magdalene Laundries." Damn good song on a damn good disc.

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