Last night I enjoyed visiting my local community cinema to watch Judi Dench and Steve Coogan star in Philomena (hence the lack of blog post last night so anther pound in the pot to Unicef). I love our local cinema as tickets are only 6 pounds and half way through you enjoy an interval as you would in a theatre, with a choice of ice-cream, alcohol and soft drinks. The place was rammed last night, mostly with old people and old women. I went with my Mum, Stepmum and my Stepmum’s friend – it sounds a strange combination but it actually worked, although there was an odd moment when were all all talking about dentistry for rather too long. The film was brilliant and full of memorable one-liners, my favourites being: ‘I didn’t even know I had a clitoris’ and ‘she is the result of a lifetime’s diet of reader’s digest. the daily mail and romantic fiction’. As I am convent educated, I particularly enjoyed the moment when Coogan suggested that Jesus would tip one of the nuns out of her wheelchair because of her conduct. Its good to see nuns getting a ticking off. in reality however they seemed to get away scot free for the decades of torture they put young singe mothers through with abuse and forced adoptions. It is unthinkable that such wicked behaviour was done ‘in the name of God’. I am amazed that the nuns were not put on trial for crimes against human rights – Amnesty would have a field day with most of the convents who ‘treated’ pregnant teenage Mums.
It is amazing how far (or not) social attitudes have evolved, as the last convent to close its doors to teenage pregnancies was in the 90’s. In fact one of the women who successfully fought the nun’s to keep her child, appeared as a contender on Alan Sugar’s apprentice only a couple of years ago. Thankfully things have moved on in the UK since my Mum’s generation and it is now no longer frowned upon to have children out of wedlock. Also adoption has moved on considerably too, in that the child is kept fully informed of the details of his or her birth parents so that they never lose the chance to make contact again and retain their sense of identity.
Judi Dench did the role of Philomena incredible justice and I still feel my heart lurch at the scene when she is standing at her son’s grave and she recalls the moments when she cuddled and kissed him as a 2 year old, only to l lose him forever when he was adopted. It is a tragedy experienced by too many at the hands of a church that in my view, has done far more harm than good.
I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef. If you can help the campaign, please visit my site on Unicef’s page.
Thanks for reading.