I just watched this movie for the second time, the first time I watched it I was distraught for days…This movie lives up to its expectations and I am still left speechless the second time round. It’s based in Ireland around the late 1960’s. Homes were established to take in girls that proved troublesome to families in any way possible. The result is painful with an array of young and old women being contained in an establishment that masked itself as a place of worship. My aim is not to bring conflict in relation to religion. I have no qualms with catechism and some of my closest friends are Catholic…No that’s not true but my point being that my sadness lies not in the structure of religion but in the case of the Magdalene sisters movie in the way women were treated in that establishment which just happened to be one catholic faith. I think I have already given too much away about the movie. I really do hope that you all give this movie a chance.
This time round when I watched the movie, I was more learned with film theory after studying a fraction of it in my course and I really appreciated the way you were so close at times with characters as if you were seeing through their eyes and trying to overcome obstacles with their determination. This movie brings to light many issues that women face when we deter from the idealistic boundaries that society has embedded in us. The problems that these women face are still being endured by women today the only difference is the outcome that these Irish girls were faced with.
Another aspect that I really felt moved by was the different women that were intertwined in the plot and how as people we all evolve to survive our circumstances in our own way. You know those movies that you watch and afterwards your sitting with a cup of tea thinking about how much you learned from that movie, how it helped you see ways to improve your life and so on…well this movie was not like that at all, it’s cold and hard and it feels like you have fallen asleep on cement for too long that’s what the Magdalene Sisters felt like. Then why am I encouraging you to watch it? Hmmm to be very honest I am not too sure I wish I knew but I don’t I just know that those women they deserve their story heard. The last of these type of establishments were shut down in the late ninety’s and I just feel we owe it to them. I don’t even think I have seen any of those actresses again after their appearance in the movie, but I don’t doubt their talent at all because of their superb ability to capture the sentiments of their characters.
They are no more homes of this sort that claim to redeem women of their lost virtue well as far as I can tell from what research I can conduct on the internet…I know though that it’s not the last we will see of this poison. This poison that infects people and makes them believe that we are somehow in charge of bringing judgment down on others. Where women are looked at as the harbingers of sin, or deemed naïve enough to confine into neat boxes that can be handled by society as it sees fit. I pray for women that are being treated in this fashion whenever I stumble upon media of this sort and now that I am writing for Delta women I can voice my prayers. I can’t do a thing right now sitting here typing this out, but I can honour every woman that has been wronged by making use of opportunities that they were denied outright. I can mould myself into a woman that young girls can look too for support in times of need when there is no one to turn to. I can be a mother that teaches my daughter to love herself but most of all to respect herself enough to know when the situation she is in needs to be altered. I can reach heights in my career that some women are not even given the allowance to think about to this very day. But most of all above all else, all these things that may vary from women to women what I am most grateful for is the fact that I can….
May you all have a wonderful Mandela Day and share a moment of kindness with those around you.
By Kameshini Pillay