Films are an important feature of popular culture but can they also be a vehicle for theological enquiry? Veritas thinks they can! Every month during the Year of Faith, we offer a Film of the Month,which we invite you to watch, reflect on and discuss. As an initiative for the Year of Faith, you might like to start a Year of Faith Film Club in your work, school or parish community, where these films can be discussed and shared. Film reviews are kindly provided by Fr John-Paul Sheridan PhD.
Film of the Month for May: No Greater Love
‘At the still point of the turning world … there the dance is’
– T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
It took ten years of correspondence for the documentary director Michael Whyte to gain permission to film this portrait of the Carmelite Monastery of the Most Holy Trinity in Notting Hill, London. It is unlike any of the other films that have been featured in this series, but no less powerful. Similar in many respects to Into Great Silence – the 2005 film by Philip Gröning which portrayed Le Grande Chartreuse, the head monastery of the reclusive Carthusian Order in France – this film is a little more accessible and considerably shorter. Philip French, film critic for the Observer said in his review, ‘Often humorous, extremely moving in their devotion to their saviour and to mankind. I felt rather attracted to the idea of joining a monastery.’ The film magazine Empire said of the film, ‘The Sisters’ insights into a life of seclusion, contemplation and intercession are courageous and compelling, while the revelations about self-discovery, doubt and divine consolation are laudably frank and deeply moving.’ It was selected for a number of film festivals.
The film includes the following extras:
- Introduction by Fr Anthony Doe - Interview with Sr Susan Marie - The Stations of the Cross - Sister Luke’s party piece for the celebration of St George’s Day - Film Trailer
For a film synopsis and questions for reflection, please click here.
Other Points and Further Reading
The Carmelite Rule of St Albert of Jerusalem is based on the Rule of St Augustine and might be summarised as follows:
Develop the contemplative dimension of their life, in an open dialogue with God
Live as brothers, full of charity
Meditate day and night on the Word of the Lord
Pray together or alone several times a day
Celebrate the Eucharist every day
Do manual work, as Paul the Apostle did
Purify themselves of every trace of evil
Live in poverty, placing in common what little they may have
Love the Church and all people
Conform their will to that of God, seeking the will of God in faith, in dialogue and through discernment.
You might like to find out about some famous Carmelites and some of their writings:
- St John of the Cross – ‘The Spiritual Canticle’ / ‘The Dark Night of the Soul’ - St Theresa of Avila – The Way of Perfection / The Interior Castle - St Thérèse of Lisieux – The Story of a Soul - Edith Stein or St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross