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The Monastery: Mr Vig & The Nun

4.3 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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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


Special Features

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

Product Details

  • Directors: Pernille Rose Grønkjaer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Danish (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
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Koch Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: February 5, 2008
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000Z27H7M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,007 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Monastery: Mr Vig & The Nun" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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'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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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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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, lecturer and theologian,about to donate his broken down castle to the Russian Orthodox Church to make a monastery,before he shuffles off this mortal coil.The film recalls another documentary Grey Gardens,of a house in need of repair for its eccentric denizens.As there, there seems an agreement among the film- maker,subjects and audience to act as if the presence of the camera does not alter the recorded event.The director is gently in the background,asking one or two questions, of the deeply eccentric Dane,who is stubborn with his neck beard and awkward gait. The film shows how direct cinema attempts to directly capture reality,by questioning the nature of reality with cinema.Mr Vig,a Scrooge-like figure out of Hans Christian Andersen,in meeting Sister Amvrosia,a headstrong nun,realizes charity and good will are not simple,as the heating system and the roof are totally overhauled and repaired to meet Sister Ambrosia's exacting demands for the nuns who must live in the monastery.Mr Vig was close to his father,and is a perfectionist about people's noses!

Mr Vig in his eighties has worked on this project for 40 years for the old castle keep deep in the Danish woods.His noble gesture is not the end, but the place needs work and lots of it.There is a battle of wills between Mr Vig and Sister Amvrosia,despite the evident affection and love. Heartwarming without being sentimental. Filmed during 6 years.Sister Amvrosija, a powerful nun who's not afraid to lay the hammer down. Together, they live in the castle and work to make it a place suitable for worship.
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