Over the years, there have been many one-dimensional, stereotypical depictions of nuns and religious sisters in film and television. These women – who have devoted their lives to God – have frequently been portrayed as stern, overbearing figures who prefer disciplining children to encouraging them. Their joy and humor seem to be non-existent, their faith seems to be superficial, and their own personal struggles aren’t revealed. But most people who know nuns/sisters realize that these are not accurate portrayals of these women.
And how many films show the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that some women had to overcome in order to become nuns? How many show the struggles others face in discerning whether or not they’re truly being called to the vocation? Finally, how many explore the complex challenges and struggles these women face as they live out their vows in their daily lives? There certainly aren’t an abundance of films that address these issues.
Fortunately, however, there are a handful of engaging films that have been produced that reach beyond the stereotype. They feature characters that are nuns/sisters who are multi-dimensional, vibrant people who make a positive difference in the world. With outstanding performances, film direction and screenwriting, they also shine a spotlight on the power that faith can have in our lives and the lives of those we encounter. Here are six such films that are uplifting and inspiring. Although they were made in different eras, they all have an appeal that is timeless. These films have had an enduring impact on many audiences around the world.