What I would have liked to see developed further was how this laundry-plantation fit within the wider Irish society – whose clothes were being washed, and what was their relationship to the people who were incarcerated here? Religion’s role in the sheer brutalization of its adherents has been evidenced throughout history – no mass religion has brought anything other than terror, subjugation and self-hatred to women – this film proves it beyond doubt! As men, we are beneficiaries of such brutalities to women – and we are like Margaret’s brother – who sheepishly mutters some nonsense about waiting to grow up while his sister lived in hell. What pained me most in this film was the terrible scene of uniformed men dragging Crispina out of the dormitory – to her destruction – and here the most painful part was noting that none of the women could shake off their terror to help their sister who cried for help. The scene captured in a brutal moment, the truth that tyranny can only thrive with our collective fear. Religion like other totalitarian ideologies rules by internalized terror.
Enough, go on and watch this movie, its worth every tear you shed, because in the end, you will find that being disturbed makes you recognize the suffering of every Crispina, Margaret, Rose, Bernadette among us.