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  • Writer's pictureKara Chatham

Film | The Sisterhood of the Night

The Sisterhood of the Night is based on the short story of the same title by Steven Millhauser. The short story was originally published in 1994 in Harper magazine and published again in a collection of Millhauser short stories in 1998 titled, Knife Thrower and Other Stories. The screenplay was written by Marylin Fu and it was directed by Caryn Waechter. The film was released in 2014; starring Georgie Henley (The Chronicles of Narnia), Kara Hayward (Moonrise Kingdom), Willa Cuthrell (Whatever Works), Olivia De Jonge (Good Pretender), and Kal Penn (The Namesake).

The storyline has a similar feel to it as Arthur Miller's Crucible, and Henley's character's name comes from this story - Mary Warren. Henley, Cuthrell, and De Jonge's characters start The Sisterhood and it becomes this desired group to be a part of, even though no one knew what it was really about. Hayward's character feels left out, thus beginning the modern Salem Witch Trial that is at the center of this story.

Without giving anything away, the ending is one of the most beautiful things I have seen in a film in a long time. There are so many ways that this story could have ended and the fact that it ends the way it does is very encouraging. I think it is a wonderful statement about the desire to belong somewhere and what we are willing to do to belong.

The writing is great. I didn't get the feeling that anything was just shoved in there or cliche without purpose. The Crucible undertones were not over powering and it gave it the tone it needed to until it was no longer needed. Everything flowed very nicely.

Visually everything matched the tone that was needed for each moment. The story is rather dark, but it's not dark to the point where you feel uneasy. Even the camera movements matched and encourages the emotions the audience is meant to feel at each moment.

The content that this film deals with is a modern sense of the content found in the Crucible. There are discussions of molestation. There is cyber bullying. It is presented that the girls of the sisterhood are witches and partake in witchcraft. There are instances that cover drug abuse and alleged student-teacher relations. None of this content is presented in a way that feels very heavy in the sense that it was just shoved on to you. Some of this content is presented in the way that the Media Industry twists things for the public whether or not they are actually true. None of this content is out of place for this storyline and is handled well.

It was nice to see Georgie Henley play a character that is seemingly different from her well known role of Lucy Pevensie. Her character keeps you guessing until the time is right. She performs the role of Mary Warren is such a way where you're not sure if you should be for or against her, but you want to be for her and the other two girls who started the sisterhood.

I do recommend checking out this film. At the time of this review being posted it is on Netflix (not sure how long it will be there for).

Until next time...


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