Deep in the French Alps lies La Grande Chartreuse, one of the world’s most ascetic monasteries. In 1984, the German filmmaker Philip Gröning wrote to the Carthusian religious order requesting permission to shoot a documentary about them. They wrote him back saying they needed to think about it. Sixteen years later they gave their approval, in a unique gesture by this monastery that otherwise never admits outsiders. For six months Gröning lived among the monks, filming their daily prayers, chores, rituals and rare visits outdoors. The monks spend 18 hours each day in silence; living in silence and solitude brings them as close as possible to God. This observational film offers a thorough immersion into transcendental monastic life. In the silence, all that remains is elemental: time, space and light. More than a documentary, Gröning’s masterpiece is a meditation, a film about consciousness and absolute presence.
Arrive early to sample some Chartreuse, the famous liqueur made by the monks featured in the film, in the DocHouse lounge.
Screening as part of our Detox Docs Season
Sunday Sessions - an occasional series that showcase inspiring films from auteurs, artists and adventurers.