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God’s Girls: Stories from an Australian Convent (1992)


The documentary follows the extraordinary changes in the Sisters of Mercy order in Australia from the 1950s to the 1990s. This Roman Catholic religious order had many postulants in the mid-20th century compared to so few today. The documentary uses footage from a film made in the early 1960s to contrast with today’s attitudes. The documentary refers to 'the Divine Craftsman’ and 'Eucharistic King’, terms once familiar to members of the faith. Nuns give enlightening interviews about their choices to join the order and their choices, later in life, whether to stay. This is intercut with scenes of convent life and photographs of the nuns as young women with their parents.

Curator’s notes

The religious order has given full access to the filmmakers to explore and question those who choose a religious life. The original musical interludes by David Bridie and John Phillips are very effective. The film is written and directed by Cherie Nowlan whose credits include, Thank God He Met Lizzie, Clubland, Small Claims, The Alice, Marking Time and The Secret Life of Us.