No Greater Love

No Greater Love

No Greater Love

               Genre: Documentary
               London, monastery, nun, britspotting2009, Carmelites

britspotting Highlight: Behind Convent Walls

  It is still dark in the corridors of the Most Holy Trinity Monastery, one of the nuns with a clatter through the halls is to mark the beginning of the day. Shortly after we see how the nuns hurry through the monastery to gather in church for morning mass. Only after some time it dawns on the viewer what is in these scenes so remarkable: In addition to the murmured prayers and the singing during the show, we hear – nothing. What we have included in the credits rather casually – the information that the nuns of the Order to speak to two hours a day is not opened – in the full meaning only gradually. Even more irritating, however, the fact that we do not miss this film, the lack of dialogues and spoken passages, but the rest is rather enjoy. Because they invite you to look and reflect, to meditate and feel and show that peace and silence are not the same as a stop.

For a year is the award-winning television director, film director Michael Whyte with the camera followed the nuns of the Carmelite Order, and has – as far as it goes – took part in their lives. Previously he had tried for ten years in an extensive correspondence with the monastery to be allowed to turn at all until he was named after this long wait, finally. The patience and the long time of waiting has paid off – for both sides. For Michael Whyte is with No Greater Love succeeded in living an extraordinary and vital film. And the Carmelites were able in this way and their way of life to imagine and make it understandable, but do not move away from its largely of silence. The power of images in this case says a thousand words.

Michael Whyte is a respectful observer who never insists, but look, listen closely and are otherwise completely breathe out. In his wonderfully handsome study on the life in silence, humility and seclusion is hardly ever spoken. If the silent nuns, Whyte does it well. He can indulge himself and the audience time to rest, denied the use of a narrator and uses only the short time in which the nuns allowed to speak, in interviews or for those hours during which the talking is allowed. In these discussions, reveal very different and entirely unexpected sides of the Carmelites. We see smiling and laughing faces, hear a lot about the joy of the outwardly stern and austere life behind the convent walls, but also times of doubt and find ourselves involuntarily in how we be amazed at so much vitality, energy and openness not come out. Is it possible that we have had a false image of these women that our seeing and feeling based on nothing than prejudices? The Carmelites, that the film makes is that it is not a flight from the world, but a completely different way of addressing the challenges of life itself and this may be a greater challenge than the life “out there”.

Is hard to believe that waits outside the monastery, the noisy metropolis of London – loud, bright and equipped with everything required by the modern life is. Of all that is in the Most Holy Trinity Monastery feel nothing: only the silence and the cycle of the seasons, of birth and decay, the inclusion in the Order and of death. No Greater Love is a film for which you are definitely bring a lot of time must, even if it is 100 minutes running time quite moderate. The noticeable standstill of time, however, from the reports of this work is so unusual that this could be for some viewers to a challenge. But he who brings the peace and serenity, to engage in this radically different way of life, is rewarded by this film, plenty.

(Joachim Kurz)

Title: No Greater Love Country of production: United Kingdom Production year: 2009 Length: 100 (min)

Related posts