529th Review: Award winning documentary on a complex subject
This was named documentary of the year in 2008 by the Swedish Academy and it is a fascinating and non-judgemental insight into religion and the choices humans make. 18 yr old Marte comes from an deeply Catholic family and decides to become a nun in the Carmelite order - the strictest order.
What makes this fascinating is firstly it tries hard to maintain an independent viewpoint and lets the protagonists simply state their stories. We, as viewers, cannot quite determine if its a self-made choice (Marte will never leave the cloister) or a result of her upbringing and so on. From a sociological viewpoint it really does strive to hold to the essence of what a good documentary should do - that is tell with as little influence and interference as possible.
At only an hour long The Nun delivers a heavy hitting impact - we see a young woman who is to all extents and purposes fulfilled, happy, content, in living for others - and this raises questions about our own materialism, but also, about her total sacrifice.
All in all this is an excellent documentary that will, of course, be vilified and praised by those who see only the religious phenomenology. It is probably better viewed as a fascinating and rare insight into a social process that we would otherwise never see.
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