“The Magdalene Sisters,” a film about the alleged abuse of wayward girls by nuns in Ireland, opens at theaters Friday. It is the creation of director Peter Mullan and it is being distributed by Miramax, a company run by Harvey and Bob Weinstein.
Louis Giovino, director of communications for the Catholic League, has seen the movie and has provided Catholic League president William Donohue with a report on the film. Here is what Donohue said today:
“It was not coincidental that Peter Mullan and the Weinstein brothers should join forces by delivering ‘The Magdalene Sisters.’ It was destined to happen. Mullan has admitted that his movie ‘encapsulates everything that is bad about the Catholic Church’; so much so that he compares the Church to the murderous Taliban. His honesty is appreciated. Less candid are the Weinstein brothers: they still maintain they are not anti-Catholic even though they have given Catholics such gems as ‘Priest,’ ‘Butcher Boy,’ ‘Dogma’ and ‘40 Days and 40 Nights.’ Now they have given Catholics their new prize, ‘The Magdalene Sisters.’
“If someone were to do a movie called ‘The Weinstein Brothers,’ one that focused on their legacy of anti-Catholicism, and sold it as being representative of how Hollywood views Catholics, it would be dishonest. This is exactly what Mullan and the Weinsteins have done in ‘The Magdalene Sisters.’ They have focused on cruel nuns, who surely were atypical, and presented them as being prototypical. That is the gravamen of the Catholic League’s complaint. This is a game that can be played with any demographic group and with any institution. Just gather all the dirty laundry, pack it tightly, and present it as if it were reality.
“When the film was first released, two members of the board of directors of the Venice Film Festival called it anti-Catholic propaganda. They were right.”