Selected by the Festival: GÖTTINGEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2006, Göttingen, Germany
Award winner: FIRST PRIZE FOR BEST STUDENT FILM
Year of production: 2005
Country of production: Great Britain
Production: Manchester, University of Manchester. Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology
Country Documentary: Romania
Directed by: Alyssa Grossman
This film examines the everyday secular lives of nuns residing in the Romanian Orthodox monastery of Varatec. The majority of the 450 members of this monastery live as small groups in private houses, much like regular villagers, rather than inside the walls of the communal abbey. Throughout the year, they integrate their duties at home with their religious responsibilities to their community and to the Church.
By visually exploring the social aesthetics of the monastery, the film depicts certain aspects of the nuns’ everyday, lived experiences. Instead of exclusively focusing on the spiritual qualities of monastery existence, it documents the secular aspects of the nuns’ relationships, activities, and routines, and offers a glimpse into the concrete ways in which they negotiate their identities within the separate yet connected spaces of home and Church.
The film also incorporates brief sequences of stop-motion animation, demonstrating some of the trials and tribulations that anthropologists sometimes encounter during filming and fieldwork. Intended as a reflexive meta-commentary, these passages point to some of the unpredictable and often uncontrollable processes of ethnographic investigation.
Date of the projection:
29/04/2007 3:30 pm
Location of the projection: Cinema Multisala Modena (viale S. Francesco D'Assisi, 6 – Trento)