New ‘breathtaking’ documentary examines London’s Carmelite nuns

.- A “breathtaking” film recording the life of Carmelite nuns at a London monastery took the grand prize at the International Festival of Cinema and Religion in Italy.

Director Michael Whyte’s documentary “No Greater Love” examines the cloistered nuns of the monastery of the Most Holy Trinity in Notting Hill. Though centered upon Holy Week, the film covers a year in the life of the monastery and its daily rhythms of Divine Office and work.

The nuns are members of the Discalced Order of Carmelites and live without television, radio or newspapers. They maintain silence throughout the day except for two periods of recreation.

The film follows a year in which one woman professes as a novice and one of the senior nuns dies. The movie is primarily observational but interviews several nuns about their life, their faith, their moments of doubt and their belief in the power of prayer.

Writer Kazuo Ishiguro has said the film “looks breathtaking, like various Dutch Masters come to life.”

The International Jury of the International Festival of Cinema and Religion called the film “beautifully crafted” and “a powerful message for those of us who inhabit fast societies that militate against the possibility of wisdom.”

“No Greater Love” was released in the U.K. on April 9, 2010 and was scheduled to be released in Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg in November. It will be released in France on Dec. 29.

The film’s website is http://www.nogreaterlove.co.uk/.

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