The Monastery: Mr. Vig and the Nun

Article published on Nov. 23, 2007
community published
Article published on Nov. 23, 2007
Denmark / 2007 : Pernille Rose Gronkjaer Direction : Documentary Genre Freud used to say that if you dreamed about a house, that house was a metaphor of what you were like, what your interior world was like. The dream of transforming a ruined castle in an orthodox Monastery may therefore define the protagonist of this loving documentary: Mr. Vig, 86 years old.
For the carrying out of such dream, Mr. Vig takes the help of some nuns, and among them is sister Ambrosijae. The documentary shows how, with the arrival of these new people to Mr. Vig’s life, a journey starts, which is parallel to the transformation of the castle, and it is the personal journey of realizing that he is as eaten away by loneliness and dust as the walls he wants to change now. Therefore, if he wants to open new rooms for a Monastery, he will also have to open new rooms in his life, both for the others and for himself. Mr. Vig ,in his deed, reminds us a little of Don Justo Gallego, that special character, famous in Spain for building a Cathedral in the town of Mejorada del Campo (Madrid), with rubbish. The work building, which started decades ago, is still going on, and we all could see it as an example of overcoming in an advertisement of an energetic drink. Mr. Vig, as Don Justo, has a “spiritual” dream, a dream with “divine doors” and funny roads. The documentary, which has been screened these days in the hispalense city, was shot during several years by film maker Pernille Rose and won the 2006 prize to the best film at International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam, the biggest meeting European place for documentary makers, buyers and public. The Monastery is an intimate and successful portrait of a man and, moreover, it’s about the idea o making dreams come true, which often involves to go along a road that is harder than we thought, but such difficulty means the mystery of taking a lesson not learned before, whether we are 20, 40 or 86 years old. As is Mr. Vig’s case.

the_monastery.jpgPaola García Costas

Translated by

Diana Irene Arancibia