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The Monastery: Mr Vig & The Nun
The Monastery Mr Vig The Nun
Director: Pernille Rose Gr°nkjaer
Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
UR     2008     1hr 24min

Worlds collide and tempers flare when Mr. Vig, an 82-year-old recluse who has never known love, and Sister Amvrosija, a headstrong nun, join forces to transform Mr. Vig?s run-down castle into a Russian Orthodox monastery. ...  more »


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Movie Details

Director: Pernille Rose Gr°nkjaer
Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 02/05/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 24min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Danish, English, Russian
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Mr. Vig establishes Russian Orthodox monastery in Denmark
customer | Longmont, Colorado | 02/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"How do you turn an old castle with a leaking roof and adorned with Buddhist symbols into a Russian Orthodox monastery? In this documentary, filmed in Denmark, we follow eccentric 82 year old Mr. Vig as he struggles with that question.

Mr. Vig, the owner of the Hesbjerg castle on Fyn Island, petitioned the Russian Orthodox church to send nuns and establish a monastery at his castle. He also has firm ideas on how to do things which bring him in conflict with nun Amvrosija who leads the Russian group. The question here is can we change to accomplish something greater than us? This documentary covers 5 years of Mr. Vig's life and we are left to admire the patience and kindness of both the film maker and nun Amvrosija. And they both showed a good sense of humor.

Warning: this is a beautifully-filmed, super-slow documentary that asks for 85 minutes of quiet time and viewer's immersion into the story. If you've seen the Russian film "Ostrov" and like it, you'll like this too.
A study in contrasts...
Curtis R. Campbell | Boron, CA USA | 03/07/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"'The Monastery' was really a wonderful film. I was surprised by the documentary style format, for some reason, I was expecting it to have been more narrative in style; but I quite enjoyed the way it was presented. From my point of view as an Orthodox Christian, I was a little disappointed in the way some of the religious aspects of the film were covered, much too little coverage of some very important topics to the story. On the other hand, the unfolding story of the conflict and friendship between Mr. Vig and the Nun was wonderful, and was a very good object lesson in Christian conflict resolution. I would recommend this film for anyone who is interested in the Orthodox Faith."
The Monastery
Elaine M. Manneh | Anaheim, California | 03/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This newly released film is a story of the power of faith and its degree of transformation. An old recluse decides to donate his run-down estate (now worth over a million dollars) to the Russian Orthodox Church to create a monastery. The story depicts the five years in which Mr. Vig, the owner works with a nun to transform his home into the monastery. Their interaction is the gist of the story. The story is deeply moving especially because it is filmed on location. Having been to Russia twice I found this film to be a message of the importance of valuing our faith."
A very touching documentary
Nick | USA | 05/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is one of those rare documentary films that surely took an unexpected twist -- deftly captured by an obviously very sensitive and insightful film producer. It probably did start out as a documentary about an eccentric old fellow donating a dilapidated Danish manor house to a "foreign" church, but it became something very different.

The real dilapidated house is Mr. Vig's noble old soul. An academic and former cleric, in a way, he lost much of his faith along the way. One suspects his less than happy relations with others, especially women, in his earlier years had something to do with that. With the help of a determined nun, pious, strong willed, tenacious, and sensible, Mr. Vig realizes a dream of establishing a Monastery, and the dream becomes a reality and his own pathway to salvation.

In his struggle with a nun, himself, his past, and his own doubts, he finds faith, and lives faith again. The scene of him and the nun walking in a holy procession around their embryonic convent is a powerful expression of Mr. Vig's spiritual rebirth. Yes, the two protagonists argue, endure each other, work together, come to love one another dearly, and in the end, they walk together in faith.

Through a denomination itself only recovering from decades of suffering, the soul of a fine old fellow, whose faith had been sorely diminished over time, was given a breath of life again -- just like his crumbling house which is now priceless in a sense because it has been transformed into something incomparably more valuable than an investment property. It is a remarkable story of spiritual rebirth against the odds.

What a wonderful story, and a wonderful surprise it must have been for the film makers. And to think, it was a documentary. What does carefully scripted drama have that real life doesn't easily best?"