In Donegal in 1936, the five Mundy sisters live on their family farm, eking out a precarious existence in this 1998 drama. All are single: schoolmarm Kate (Meryl Streep) is the bossy eldest; Maggie is the housekeeper; Agnes and Rose make pin money by knitting; and Christina takes care of a son born "out of wedlock." Their lives shift when their older brother returns from Africa a bit worse for wear, the father of Christina's baby appears, and the sisters' livelihoods are threatened by the opening of a woolen factory.
"Their sense of a life waiting to be seized may be sparked by folk songs from a crackling radio, or by the thrilling reports of a harvest dance to mark the festival of Lughnasa…. The acting is beautifully nuanced."—The Independent