Out of Order
by Diane Christian and Bruce Jackson
color, 89 min, 1983
In Out of Order six former Catholic nuns tell why they entered and why they left religious life. The women (filmmaker Diane Christian is one of them) describe their years in the convent and their return to the secular world.
The former nuns talk about single life and marriage (three are married, one to a former priest), about the changed place of religion in their lives, about sex roles, about institutional supports and burdens, about work. Three of the women teach - one at a state university, one in an inner city grammar school, one at a suburban high school. One woman is an artist, one an insurance agent, one a private investor. The film shows them at work and at home in New York, Massachusetts, Texas and Maryland.
Out of Order offers unique insight into female socialization and identity in modern America by probing ideals and realities of womanhood, sex, work and service from an unknown and unusual perspective.
Primary funding for Out of Order was provided by a production grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The digital restoration was funded by University at Buffalo's Samuel P. Capen Chair in American Culture.