Dir: Alexandru Solomon | Doc Romania/Lux 96′
Arsenie Boca, a revered priest, theologian and mystic is the subject of this deep dive into faith and religious persecution from Romanian filmmaker Alexandru Solomon.
Since the advent of Jesus Christ, humanity has always been fascinated by visionary miracle makers holding them out to represent the holy grail in our everlasting search for the meaning of life.
Zian Boca, born in 1910 in Hunedoara, Romania, followed an orthodox religious path travelling to the legendary Mount Athos for spiritual training, before being ordained a deacon in 1935 and subsequently the abbot of Brancoveanu Monastery five years later, despite persecution by the communist regime, the holy man has been hailed as a saint by his many followers although he has yet to be canonized.
The film, the latest outing from seasoned cinematographer and director, Solomon, who started making documentaries in 1993, is composed of a series of re-enactments of Boca’s life and provides not only a vibrant insight into his work as a visionary and spiritual leader but also serves to reflect the state of contemporary society as believers desperately search for answers and cling onto the concept of miracles to sublimate them into a more edifying and meaningful existence in this increasingly troubled and perilous world. A film full of hope and insight that never takes itself too seriously in capturing the essence of this inspirational philosopher, scholar and cleric. MT
KARLOVY VARY FILM FESTIVAL | PROXIMA STRAND 2023