Recently discussed at the Finnish Film Affair, where it was awarded the Best Nordic Project award, the Danish production “The Great Silence” will go straight to the convent, where Sister Alma (starring “Ninjababi” lead Christine Kuzath Thorpe) prepares to take her permanent vow but once her health When the late alcoholic brother appears, evoking memories of family privacy, Alma begins to question his choices.
The film, currently being shot in Copenhagen and produced by the newly formed monolithic film Pernelli Torny, will feature Helmer Catherine Brooks, who is inspired by the religious upbringing of her Christian community and co-authored with Marion Lentz behind her Robert Award.
“My parents met at a Bible camp. Religion has always been the background of my childhood, it was the foundation of everything. ”He admits that his“ very personal relationship with God ”changed as he began his adolescence.
“I’ve been experiencing a spiritual identity crisis since I was 14. I wouldn’t say I’m a believer but I’m not an unbeliever either, you know? I think the whole movie is a search for it: to find out where I stand.”
Brooks – who graduated from Denmark’s National Film School and already called the actor his “creative muse” for his short “Waves Below, Below the Clouds” 2019 – was impressed by the nuns at the sight of his commitment to a family friend.
“You are getting married, but not with the real person. From this curiosity comes the idea of the film, from trying to understand that a person chooses such an absolute way of living with God.”
Still, the two siblings in theological discussions will need to come up with a story to try to deal with the trauma of their past, as Elliott Croset Hove plays a suspicious older brother.
“Once he arrives, it’s like watching a car accident. The nuns pray for the earth, so Alma believes she is there for him. But he doesn’t think it makes any difference, ”Brooks said, acknowledging the characters represent both her and her dilemma.
“This story is really about our perception of us, about going to the final stage to emerge as a better person, even when it means we have to demonize other people. I grew up with Jesus as the ultimate role model and as a child my explanation was that in order to love God, I had to be really high standards. As an adult I realized that the whole ‘message’ behind Jesus was that we were already forgiven. But to be forgiven we have to be honest and that is the problem of Alma. He is not honest about who he is. ”
While most of the story takes place in a convent, Brooks has learned a lot from the monks he interviewed, many comparing it to almost every wedding.
“They told us you had to stay in it. Sometimes you feel that God exists, sometimes He doesn’t – just like your wife’s love. It’s hard work, ”he said, interested in the contrast between the sacred and the everyday.
“The nuns have breakfast and send emails, and yet every act becomes a puja. The whole idea of a convent is to create a crime-free space; A small heaven where original sin does not exist. But is it possible? ”
Acknowledging that many films about monks focus on their chastity or sexuality – such as Paul Verhaven’s recent Cannes Curio “Benedata” – Brock’s interests are elsewhere.
“It simply came to our notice then. I am much more interested in themes like guilt and forgiveness and compassion. The whole idea of being a sinner and a saint and the conflict between the two, “she said, pointing to the dark side of Sister Alma.
“I’m interested to see if the audience will judge him or root for him,” he said, noting that “The Great Silence” will not criticize religion, it will not glorify it.
“I think religion can be a beautiful thing; I think it can hurt people. The film explains how we as human beings struggle to find the meaning of ‘The Great Silence’. When a tragedy occurs, some people become more religious when others lose their faith or see it as further evidence of a Godless universe. To me, this is an interesting paradox. ”