1 9 9 1 (Australia)
6 x 50 minute episodes
The 1960s was a time of revolution, not least for women who were seeking (and winning) liberation from many social restrictions. The anticommunist war in Southeast Asia raged, as did anti-war demonstrations in Australia.
The Catholic Church shook off centuries of tradition under Vatican II.
The Church’s progressive social justice work was felt even in Australia, where its conservative Irish roots dominated.
This Australian co-production with Channel 4 (UK) and Irish TV station RTE told the story of a small group of women and girls against the backdrop of social change.
Each of the six 50-minute episodes focussed on young women who wanted to become nuns, and older nuns who ran a school for girls in Sydney. Episodes also revealed the tension between the younger and older nuns, and the Mother Superior’s arguments with the more conservative older members and senior male counterparts.
Issues of faith in a time of questioning were examined in personal terms.
Brides of Christ featured a top-notch cast, and some – such as Naomi Watts and Russell Crowe – went on to successful international film careers.
The miniseries was created and produced by Penny Chapman and Sue Masters, both of whom were powerhouses in Australian TV drama production.