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The Monastery: Mr Vig & The Nun (2008)

Pernille Rose Grønkjaer  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Directors: Pernille Rose Grønkjaer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Danish (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Koch Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: February 5, 2008
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000Z27H7M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,775 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Monastery: Mr Vig & The Nun" on IMDb

Special Features

  • In English and Danish with English subtitles
  • Deleted scenes and original theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

Worlds collide and tempers flare when Mr. Vig, an 82-year-old recluse who has never known love, and Sister Amvrosija, a headstrong nun, join forces to transform Mr. Vig’s run-down castle into a Russian Orthodox monastery. Together they face the many conflicts of living and working together as Mr. Vig realizes that the road to fulfilling his lifelong dream is more difficult than he had ever imagined.

DVD Extras:
Deleted Scenes, Original Theatrical Trailer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Vig establishes Russian Orthodox monastery in Denmark February 12, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
How do you turn an old castle with a leaking roof and adorned with Buddhist symbols into a Russian Orthodox monastery? In this documentary, filmed in Denmark, we follow eccentric 82 year old Mr. Vig as he struggles with that question.

Mr. Vig, the owner of the Hesbjerg castle on Fyn Island, petitioned the Russian Orthodox church to send nuns and establish a monastery at his castle. He also has firm ideas on how to do things which bring him in conflict with nun Amvrosija who leads the Russian group. The question here is can we change to accomplish something greater than us? This documentary covers 5 years of Mr. Vig's life and we are left to admire the patience and kindness of both the film maker and nun Amvrosija. And they both showed a good sense of humor.

Warning: this is a beautifully-filmed, super-slow documentary that asks for 85 minutes of quiet time and viewer's immersion into the story. If you've seen the Russian film "Ostrov" and like it, you'll like this too.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A study in contrasts... March 7, 2008
'The Monastery' was really a wonderful film. I was surprised by the documentary style format, for some reason, I was expecting it to have been more narrative in style; but I quite enjoyed the way it was presented. From my point of view as an Orthodox Christian, I was a little disappointed in the way some of the religious aspects of the film were covered, much too little coverage of some very important topics to the story. On the other hand, the unfolding story of the conflict and friendship between Mr. Vig and the Nun was wonderful, and was a very good object lesson in Christian conflict resolution. I would recommend this film for anyone who is interested in the Orthodox Faith.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Monastery March 4, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This newly released film is a story of the power of faith and its degree of transformation. An old recluse decides to donate his run-down estate (now worth over a million dollars) to the Russian Orthodox Church to create a monastery. The story depicts the five years in which Mr. Vig, the owner works with a nun to transform his home into the monastery. Their interaction is the gist of the story. The story is deeply moving especially because it is filmed on location. Having been to Russia twice I found this film to be a message of the importance of valuing our faith.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very touching documentary May 14, 2008
By Nick
This is one of those rare documentary films that surely took an unexpected twist -- deftly captured by an obviously very sensitive and insightful film producer. It probably did start out as a documentary about an eccentric old fellow donating a dilapidated Danish manor house to a "foreign" church, but it became something very different.

The real dilapidated house is Mr. Vig's noble old soul. An academic and former cleric, in a way, he lost much of his faith along the way. One suspects his less than happy relations with others, especially women, in his earlier years had something to do with that. With the help of a determined nun, pious, strong willed, tenacious, and sensible, Mr. Vig realizes a dream of establishing a Monastery, and the dream becomes a reality and his own pathway to salvation.

In his struggle with a nun, himself, his past, and his own doubts, he finds faith, and lives faith again. The scene of him and the nun walking in a holy procession around their embryonic convent is a powerful expression of Mr. Vig's spiritual rebirth. Yes, the two protagonists argue, endure each other, work together, come to love one another dearly, and in the end, they walk together in faith.

Through a denomination itself only recovering from decades of suffering, the soul of a fine old fellow, whose faith had been sorely diminished over time, was given a breath of life again -- just like his crumbling house which is now priceless in a sense because it has been transformed into something incomparably more valuable than an investment property. It is a remarkable story of spiritual rebirth against the odds.

What a wonderful story, and a wonderful surprise it must have been for the film makers. And to think, it was a documentary. What does carefully scripted drama have that real life doesn't easily best?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting documentary March 4, 2008
Very interesting movie - you can't tell whether this is fiction or non fiction. I enjoyed watching it more than once. Shows the humility and patience of a monastic dealing with an old man looking for repentance.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Sure May 4, 2008
By matt
I am not exactly sure about the point of this documentary, about the establishing of a Russian monastery in Denmark by an older, and very eccentric, landowner. The film itself, as a work of documentation, I feel leaves much to be desired. It is incomplete. Perhaps other viewers will find this to be part of its charm. For me, I felt it was part of its annoyance.

In the end it was a study of a man who has always played it safe and never risked loving anyone, raised by an abusive father and submissive but loving mother. His obsession with outward physical traits (noses and ears) kept him from dating, and so he was a priest (RC Protestant?) and a librarian. In spite of his general dislike of humanity, he still wants to establish some sort of permanent tribute in the world with the founding of a monastery. That said, even almost against himself it seems, he still gives the nuns this amazing castle and to his credit his dream was fulfilled.

In the end I was left feeling very sorry for him (may his memory be eternal), loving the strong-willed but correct Mother Amvrosia and praying to God that I would live my life a little nicer and thoughtfully. I am also left wondering what it is exactly that turns a person into a misanthrope. Small degrees of turning away from love, I suppose.

As a note, a reader thought I was too judgemental here, so I want to post my reply here for you in case you do not read the comments section: "It is nice to see interest, either way, since it is a film worth watching. However, I am not sure where you read me passing judgment upon Mr. Vig. If I am not mistaken, and correct me where I am wrong, eveything I wrote is exactly what he says in the film about himself.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lovely Gentle Documentary
I just finished watching this film and was impressed at what a simple story it told of two people with often contradicting visions and how they managed to forge forward (if only we... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Greg
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible insight into a soul healed by prayer
Mr. Vig's new person/soul is reconstructed along with the castle he owns; with the prayer of a simple and gifted Orthodox Christian nun, he learns to make his way slowly into his... Read more
Published 10 months ago by E. Matta
2.0 out of 5 stars Falls short.
I had an inaccurate notion that this film would be a spiritual odyssey, where an eccentric, godly, old man takes us on a journey to realize his dream of creating a monastery. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Pamela F.
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmeric documentary
The Monastery, Mr Vig and the Nun is a superb documentary by Pernille Rose Gronkjaer,which depicts a lonely old man who's never been loved or known love,a retired parish priest,... Read more
Published 13 months ago by technoguy
4.0 out of 5 stars Modest film with large impact
THe tale of Mr. Vig and the Nun takes us through the story of renovating an old mansion for use by the Russian Orthodox church. Read more
Published 15 months ago by HMSuperb
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Such a touching documentary that will have you laughing, gasping and crying til the end. This is one of those documentaries you want to show all your Orthodox friends and watch... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Dustin
4.0 out of 5 stars Documentary
I had an opportunity to see the movie. Well, I thought it was to be a dramatic type of movie, but soon figured out that it was a reality based documentary. Read more
Published 22 months ago by The Count 43
4.0 out of 5 stars Peaceful Little Film
I'm so happy to have stumbled onto this film.

It's not much of a story. An elderly man wants to donate his large home to the Russian Orthodox Church so that it may be... Read more
Published on October 2, 2010 by Clarity
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing film!
I was deeply moved by this film and felt privileged to watch it. I see of lot of documentaries but this stands out as unforgettable. Read more
Published on October 25, 2009 by Jesterfest
3.0 out of 5 stars A film in search of a point
Director Pernille Rose Gronkjaer's "The Monastery" is a curious film. Ostensibly, it's the story of the conflict between an octogenarian (Mr. Read more
Published on April 18, 2008 by Kerry Walters
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