DIRECTED BY Peter Mullan STARRING Nora-Jane Noone, Dorothy Duffy, Anne-Marie Duff Opens February 21, Cert 15, 119 mins The opening scene of Peter Mullan's award-winning social drama The Magdalene Sisters unfolds in a Dublin pub in 1964, where Guinness-stained granddads in cloth caps slap their thighs to fiddle-dee-diddle-dee music played by a lecherous priest who salivates suggestively over his bodhran while crucifixes are reflected in whisky glasses and a lusty Irish buck rapes his own cousin.

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The Magdalene Sisters

DIRECTED BY Peter Mullan

STARRING Nora-Jane Noone, Dorothy Duffy, Anne-Marie Duff

Opens February 21, Cert 15, 119 mins

The opening scene of Peter Mullan’s award-winning social drama The Magdalene Sisters unfolds in a Dublin pub in 1964, where Guinness-stained granddads in cloth caps slap their thighs to fiddle-dee-diddle-dee music played by a lecherous priest who salivates suggestively over his bodhran while crucifixes are reflected in whisky glasses and a lusty Irish buck rapes his own cousin. Naturally.

However, initial disappointment at semaphoric 10-in-a-bed Angela’s Ashes Oirishisms is swiftly superseded by Mullan’s muscular story of Bernadette (Noone), Margaret (Duff) and Rose (Duffy) and their detention in one of Ireland’s infamous Magdalene Laundries (nun-controlled borstals for ‘fallen women’). Here the girls fight to retain a sense of identity and humanity in the face of state-sanctioned brutality?ritual humiliation, food depravation, and physical and sexual abuse are commonplace.

As with Philip Noyce’s recent historical expos