Out of Order (1984)

Genres - Spirituality & Philosophy, Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Gender Issues, Religions & Belief Systems, Social Issues  |   Run Time - 89 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Directors Diane Christian and Bruce Jackson interviewed six ex-nuns (including Christian herself) for this documentary on why the women joined the Catholic order of nuns and why they left after at least six and up to sixteen years of keeping their vows. Reasons for donning the habit varied from a "calling," to a fear of sex and motherhood, or a strong social consciousness. Reasons for leaving were equally varied and interesting: the inability to advance very far in a male-dominated hierarchy, a feeling that ritual mattered more than substance, or a simple desire to become a wife and mother one day. A total of 26 hours of interviews are reduced to a very effective 89 minutes in this documentary that is alternately charming, amusing, sad, tragic, and always compelling.