Peter Mullen's shocking drama THE MAGDALENE SISTERS is based on real events that took place in Ireland from the 1960s until 1996 when an estimated 30,000 young women, considered by their families to have committed sexual sins, were sent away from their homes to earn penitence working in profit-making laundries run by the Sisters of Magdalene Order. However, the acts the girls committed to have been sent to these miserable prisons were clearly not punishable. What's worse, the nuns were cruel money grubbers who worked the girls to the point of exhaustion, and used poor living conditions and psychological abuse to break and brainwash the girls into subservience. The awful treatment the nuns gave these innocent young women was terrifying, and the ways the girls suffered were utterly disturbing. Mullen designed the fictional characters in the film based on interviews with actual survivors of the laundries, working their stories into his plot. Margaret (Anne-Marie Duff) is a shy girl who is raped by her cousin at a wedding shaming her family, Patricia/Rose (Dorothy Duff) gets pregnant and her parents take her baby away from her, Bernadette (Nora-Jane Noone) is a pretty girl who is deemed "too flirtatious," and Crispina (Eileen Walsh) is a loving young mom whose children are forbidden to see her and are being raised by her sister. The imposing Sister Bridget (Geraldine McEwan) is pure evil, and will strike fear into the souls of MAGDALENE viewers.