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This movie is inspired by the true story of Philomena Lee (Dame Judy Dench), an Irish woman who kept a secret for 50 years.
After becoming pregnant, a teenage Philomena was exiled to a convent by her horrified, very Catholic parents. There, the nuns deliver her baby son and force her to give up all parental rights.
British journalist Martin Sixsmith (played by Steve Coogan) later becames Lee’s partner in the journey to find her son and wrote a book about the experience.
This is unfortunately an all-too familiar story of officials believing they know better and acting badly.
Our history is laced with such stories, but this doesn’t make this story any less powerful and the storytellers have done well here. This could so easily have been over sentimentalised, but it is heartfelt and real.
It’s the kind of filmmaking we see too little of today.