Loyola University Maryland


Band of Sisters Film Screening

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Screening: Band of Sisters
6:00pm, Loyola-Notre Dame Library Auditorium 
Band of Sisters focuses on the life experiences and current-day stories of more than a dozen nuns. Many of them have been central agents in the great social movements of our time. The sisters belong to different congregations from across the United States.
Sponsored by Messina. A Messina The Visionary Theme-Wide Event


Demonstration against segregation at Illinois Club for Catholic Women, Loyola University, 1963In BAND OF SISTERS, two nuns advocate for the rights of immigrant detainees and deportees in and around a Chicago-area deportation center. It is 50 years since Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council to let a little fresh air into the church, and most Catholic nuns in the U. S. have never looked back. Fascinating scenes of convent life prior to Vatican II contrast with those of nuns in the tumultuous and exciting years after the Council, when sisters became engaged with the great social movements of our day.

Adeptly illuminating the path from direct service to social justice to the transformation of consciousness, BAND OF SISTERS travels with sisters who continue their mission as organic farmers, environmental attorneys, peace activists, holistic health care practitioners, podcasters, and more. With poignancy, drama and humor, the film fosters well-deserved recognition for its engaging characters and the thousands of sisters like them. In the face of obstacles and threats cast by government agencies, the military, and the hierarchy of their own church, the forward-thinking U.S. nuns are on a mission of love, and it appears that nothing can stop them.

A film that shows the sisters as they are, BAND OF SISTERS is a deeply moving story of inspiration and hope for people of all faiths.

Resources for Attendees: 

About the Filmmakers: 

Mary Fishman, Producer and Director

Band of Sisters is Mary Fishman’s filmmaking debut. In her previous career Mary was an architect and urban planner. She attended Catholic elementary and high schools in Chicago, where sisters were her teachers, but it was during the making of this film that they became her friends - and they’re still her teachers. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in architecture and French, and practiced architecture in Chicago, in southern California, and in Strasbourg, France. While in California she attended UCLA and received a master's degree in urban planning. After a two-year stint in France, she returned home, specializing in historic preservation and zoning for the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development. She began work on Band of Sisters in 2004 after taking film courses at Columbia College and at Chicago Filmmakers, where she is now on the board of directors. Mary is an Associate Member of the Sisters of Mercy.

Bernadine Colish, Editor

Bernadine Colish has edited a number of award-winning documentaries. Herb & Dorothy (2008), won Audience Awards at Silverdocs, Philadelphia and Hamptons Film Festivals, and Body of War (2007), was named Best Documentary by the National Board of Review. A Touch of Greatness (2004) aired on PBS Independent Lens and was nominated for an Emmy Award. Her career began at Maysles Films, where she worked with Charlotte Zwerin on such projects as Thelonious Monk: Straight No Chaser, Toru Takemitsu: Music for the Movies and the PBS American Masters documentary, Ella Fitzgerald: Something To Live For. Additional credits include Herb & Dorothy 50X50, Rise and Dream, The Tiger Next Door, Absolute Wilson and for PBS, The Buffalo War, Muslims, and Beyond the Motor City.

Miriam Cutler, Composer

Emmy nominated composer Miriam Cutler wrote the original score for American Promise, which won the Special Documentary Jury Prize at Sundance 2013. She also scored Vito which premiered at the 2012 NY Film Festival and Ethel, Rory Kennedy's documentary about her parents, Bobby and Ethel Kennedy, which premiered at Sundance 2012. Other award winning and festival favorite credits include: Academy Award nominated Poster Girl (IDFA,Telluride, HBO); One Lucky Elephant (LAFF, IDFA, OWN), which Miriam also co-produced; The Fence (Sundance/HBO); Paul Goodman Changed My Life (Film Forum), Desert of Forbidden Art (PBS Independent Lens, Cine Eagle Award); and Emmy Award winner Ghosts of Abu Ghraib (Sundance, HBO). Miriam is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and has served as lab advisor for the Sundance Institute Documentary Composers Lab.

1. In what ways are the nuns in this documentary visionaries? 

2. Band of Sisters challenges us to ask what really matters in life. As we seek what matters, how do we go about changing our lives and the world around us?


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