Sister Helen

Sister Helen Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: A documentary profile of a 69-year old Benedictine Sister who ran a 23-bed halfway house in the tough Mott Haven section of the South Bronx.


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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. A memorable portrait of a true New York character, Rob Fruchtman and Rebecca Cammisa's documentary ably captures the blazing force at its center.
  2. 75
    Sister Helen don't take no bull.
  3. 70
    Using a fly-on-the-wall camera technique that suggests the cinéma vérité documentaries of Frederick Wiseman, Ms. Cammisa and Mr. Fruchtman vividly capture the dynamic of tenderness and rage that characterizes Sister Helen's relationship with the 21 men who live under her roof.
  4. 70
    An unforgettable tribute to a remarkable life, Sister Helen is inspirational in a way a film about a more conventionally pious religious figure could never be. Travis seems to be the antithesis of a cardboard saint.
  5. 70
    See the true story of Sister Helen and her band of weary men now.
  6. The unspoken question that underlies their struggles is whether a facility run by sheer force of personality can survive when that personality is gone; the film ends on a cautiously hopeful note.
  7. 40
    Perhaps if Sister Helen had been released when filming was completed in 2000, its tough-loving Irish nun, who gives hell to male drug addicts in a Mott Haven "safe house," might have passed for endearing.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. KenD.
    Jul 13, 2006
    Recommend to all, but don't watch if you expect to hear and see saintly beings! They are the real deal. All are angels without halos.

See all 2 User Reviews