1964. Cathleen Harris, in her late teens, has resided at the Convent of the Beloved Rose in her home state in the American south for close to two years, first as a postulant for six months, before taking her first vows to become a novice. Unlike the other postulants and novices, Sister Cathleen was raised in a household without religion, let alone Catholicism. As such, her decision to become a nun, which went against her divorced mother's wishes, may be more secure in her mind than her colleagues for which this life course may be more bred within them. The convent is led by the Mother Abbess, Reverend Mother Marie Saint Clare, whose entire life is this convent off of where she not stepped foot in forty years. Reverend Mother believes she is the voice of God within the walls of the convent, and thus does not tolerate any of the sisters questioning her authority. She also believes that the Catholicism which she has known all her life is perfect. When she receives an edict regarding the ...Written by
Another reason for people who think the Catholic Church is diabolical to keep thinking it
Well, I hardly know where to begin in describing how sad, tedious and inaccurate this film is. I have been a happy and healthy Dominican Sister for over 40 years, and I was optimistic that this would be a good film. I'm really sorry I wasted two hours on it. It does not do justice to the times, the complexity of the changes that began to emerge with Vatican II, and it is not even accurate in describing the process of becoming a nun. So I just wonder where Margaret Betts got her information. Did she interview anybody who actually stayed and found happiness in religious life? I doubt it.
There was no joy, no sense of companionship or sense of being part of something exciting. No real narrative about what the impact of Vatican II had on Catholic thought, just a few superficial conversations between the Archbishop and the Reverend Mother. It is a bleak and morose story of postulant Cathleen's struggle to survive a mean and closed minded mother superior whose ego should have driven her to confession.
Too bad, this could have been a great story, with compelling dialogue, dramatic tension, and a breakthrough moment of personal change. Instead it was a painful exaggeration of the predictable inaccurate stereotypes of Catholic Sisters, complete with Nun-Zilla. It gives people who have always hated the Catholic Church a good reason to keep hating it.
Margaret Betts was scheduled to Skype in and have a conversation with the audience at the theater we attended. I'm kind of glad she could not make it. The sisters in the audience would have had a hard time coming up with something nice to say.
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