The Monastery - Mr Vig & The Nun
Pernille Rose Grønkjær.
Denmark 2006, 84 min.
The film’s title announces two central characters: Mr Vig, an old, quirky Dane who dreams of having his derelict castle turned into a Russian Orthodox monastery, and Sister Ambrosija, the tough but all-smiles representative of the Moscow Patriarchate who is called in to take over the estate from Vig. In a world defined by project management, Mr Vig seems unprepared to fully commit himself to what gradually emerges as his once-in-a-lifetime project. He turns out to be a reluctant servant to God. While Sister Ambrosija insists on the definitive nature of their arrangement, he clings to temporary or reversible decisions. The Monastery captures the often hilarious negotiations carried by the two and the practicalities of setting up the monastery. It unfolds as a minimalist, slow burnt piece which builds up a subtle sense of development out of relevant details while leaving room for a sense of the beyond lurking behind the most mundane scenes.