Synopsis by Bhob Stewart
This cinematic tapestry of daily life inside a Benedictine monastery, filmed by Frederick Wiseman in 1972, prompted John J. O'Connor (New York Times) to write, "Mr. Wiseman has given the viewer a superb human comedy -- funny, pathetic, touching, absurd, moving." The 86-minute documentary explores the resolution of conflict between personal needs and the institutional, organizational priorities of the community. In the Order, where the focus of life is the relationship of individual work and worship to the community as a whole, the brethren must cope with the same issues that arise in any community -- rules and regulations, work, worship, values, love, and play. Essene received a 1972 Gabriel Award from the Catholic Association for Broadcasters, and Malcolm Boyd (New York Times) called it "one of the best religious films ever made."
monastery, community, worship [religious], behind-the-scenes, love, play [recreation], regulations, values, work [occupation]