Playing The Magdalene Sisters (trailer)
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Based on the Magdalene Asylums, this 2002 film written and directed by Peter Mullen features the lives of four girls sent to the asylums to atone for their sins, which include having babies born out of wedlock, being raped by a cousin and being an orphan too pretty for her own good.
The laundries got their name from Mary Magdalene, the fallen woman who became one of Jesus' closest followers. They began 150 years ago as homes to rehabilitate prostitutes. But by the early 20th century, the role had been expanded to care for unwed mothers and other young women the church considered to be wayward.
The stigma attached to illegitimacy and promiscuity was so severe that the woman was often thrown out of her home, driven from her community, disowned by her family. And for many, the laundries were the only things that stood between them and the street. Although few visual records could be found, some of the massive compounds are still standing. [From: "The Magdalene Laundry" ]