Opening Spiritual Space
German filmmaker Philip Groening’s acclaimed film, Into Great Silence, has already been brought to the attention of readers of this blog.
In today’s Boston Globe, there is an interesting interview with Groening. Two comments which caught my attention follow:
The film does not depict a monastery, but it transforms itself into a
monastery, because a monastery is a place where, through the rhythm of
time, which is very strict, and through [the monk's] confinement, the
spiritual space is opened up for them.
Groening then explains why he chose not to film formal interviews with the monks:
If you give too much information about the monks, then something flips
around and the audience gets curious to know more. And then they stop
wondering what would make themselves come to a monastery. For the film to be a deeper experience, it’s much more
important that you sit there and ask yourself, “Why did this guy come
[to the monastery]?” And by asking yourself that, you start to wonder:
What would make me come there? And that’s the moment when the film
starts to really touch you — when you come to your own questions.
Because a monastery is a place where you encounter yourself and open up
a spiritual space.
I have not yet seen the film. (It opens in Boston on Friday.) But I would appreciate hearing reactions from any who have already seen it.