DEVOUT is a journey through contemporary monastic life as experienced by a 22-year-old Georgian Orthodox monk, Father Anubi. DEVOUT reveals an archaic utopia, a timeless spiritual sphere that is as beautiful and harsh as the mountain terrain of the Caucasus, tempting but unforgiving, a riddle like god and faith and as mysterious as the human condition. The camera bears silent witness as Father Anubi contemplates and shares his understanding of faith. Interviews with other young monks, obedients, and the Archbishop provide insight into individual perspectives of their Orthodox beliefs ranging from distinct and deterministic to more compassionate with altruistic views. DEVOUT presents a visual portrait of the monks, their ritualistic lives, and their work as it travels to many Dzama Valley monasteries including one-perched 1700 meters on a cliff-side. The film was given access to a previously unrecorded sacred site that contains the remains from invasions of long ago, hundreds of bones and the skulls of murdered monks, priests, bishops, and children. DEVOUT is an artistic documentary that abandons the traditional cinematic narrative format shifting the focus to reflect metaphor and allegory.
Written by James Higginson