At one time, not long ago, becoming a “fallen woman” in Ireland could get you sent to a concentration camp, far away from the care and concern of your society. This film follows the stories of four young women, Margaret who’s "guilty" of being raped by her cousin, Rose the unmarried mother, Bernadette who is too beautiful and coquettish to be allowed out and Crispina the mentally-handicapped single mother, who are all forced by their families or caretakers to go to the Magdalene Asylum. The film details the disastrous lives of the four girls whilst they are inmates, portraying their harsh daily regimen, their squalid living conditions and the oppressive nature of the Catholic faith at the time.
8. Hotel Rwanda (2008)
Irish director Terry George’s film packs a punch that will take the breath out of you. The film, which has been called an African Schindler’s List documents one man’s acts to save the lives of his family and more than a thousand other refugees, by granting them shelter in the besieged Hotel des Mille Collines. As an independent film, it had an initial limited release in theaters, but was nominated for multiple awards, including Academy Award nominations for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Original Screenplay.
9. Atonement (2007)
Saoirse Ronan, the 15-year-old Irish actress and star of Atonement has already been nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar. They’re impressive achievements for a teenager from the small County Carlow village of Adrattin. In Atonement Ronan played Briony Trellis, the imaginative young girl who falsely accuses a family friend of the rape of her cousin, resulting in his imprisonment (and the ruination of her older sisters life). Not only is the film remarkable, it introduced the world to the almost supernaturally self-assured young actress.
10. Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)
Sometimes capitalism is evil. That’s the conclusion that Irish American documentary filmmaker Michael Moore comes to in his last film Capitalism: A Love Story. But how evil exactly? Well, Moore suggests, you could start by asking the hardworking American people who are being pushed out of their homes in record numbers as a direct result of corporate greed.
Moore knows that for some to speak against capitalism means you’re speaking against America. But his view is that capitalism now is against America. Capitalism, he says, is now against the things that we all say we believe in: democracy, freedom of choice, fairness – it’s not about any of those things now. It’s about protecting the wealthy and legalizing greed. You can love or hate him, but he’s not to be ignored.
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