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Poverty, Chastity, Obedience

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Joanne O'Regan is at a crossroads. At 35, she's unhappy at work and unfulfilled by her day-to-day life. Far from prudish, Joanne socializes, smokes, drinks and isn't thrilled about the secondary role women play in the Catholic Church. Yet God has called her.

After discovering an affinity with the Sisters of St. Martha, whose vision encompasses service and community involvement, she accepts - but not without reservations. Before taking the ultimate leap of faith, Joanne is forced to confront her demons, her motivation, and her family and friends.

Joanne's personal struggle is juxtaposed with the crisis confronting the convent today. Once considered a traditional calling for young women, life as a nun is now a radical choice, as revealed by dwindling recruits. Sister Susan Kidd of Toronto's Congregation of Notre Dame confesses that despite a costly two-month national advertising campaign, they didn't net a single response.

In a penetrating montage of direct cinema, historical imagery and video diary, Poverty, Chastity, Obedience dives into the psyche of modern society and asks whether we need money to feel successful, sex to express love, and control to feel empowered.

2002, 52 min 01 s

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Honorable Mention - Category: Social Issues
International Film and Video Festival
October 23 to 25 2002, Columbus - USA