Wir können nicht den hellen Himmel träumen
A convent in South Tyrol which now accommodates only the two nuns: Sister Angelika and Sister Benvenuta. When the two farmer’s daughters joined the Dominican Order at Maria Steinach all of 50 years ago, there were still 18 women living in the cloisters, the unwritten rule being: »If someone wishes to be admitted, she must wait until another one dies«. Today, however, most of the cells are empty.
»So we do everything«. Under this motto, the two whiz through the corridors and even keep the vacant cells spick and span. Several times a day, Sister Angelica runs from one floor to another, rings the bell, winds up the mechanical clockwork, cleans the altar and the chapel, does the gardening and – three times a year – wash the 114 windows. Meanwhile, Sister Benvenuta’s working area is the kitchen. Yet the ritual of common prayer is never neglected. Physical complaints and accidents have on occasion led to one or the other being kept in hospital. But even after major surgery, they spare themselves no mercy. As they know that their future is hanging on a thread, they constantly provide evidence that things can continue.
Sisters Angelika and Benvenuta are thus no ethereal-minded nuns. Housework is somehow in their DNA. All the objects that have surrounded them for such a long time … also belong to them. Each pot, every apple, each stone, every window, each piece of fabric, every pew – the chickens, the cats, the birds, the fruits and the vegetables. They all get their due attention.
The nuns of Maria Steinach are simply wonderful women if slightly recalcitrant heroines. They serve their convent and they reign in it. And although they and the convent face an uncertain future, they are not in any way bitter, but free.
Presented by FilmDienst.
Film programme Always Together
Carmen Tartarotti, born 1950 in South Tyrol, studied German and politics in Frankfurt / Main. She has been a freelance film-maker since 1979. Working as an author, director and producer, she lives in Frankfurt and Berlin. Her film portrait of Friederike Mayröcker won her the City of Munich Film Prize while her hotel documentary Paradiso del Cevedale picked up a gold award at the International Film & Architecture Competition in Graz, Austria.
Films by Carmen Tartarotti (Selection)
Das Schreiben und das Schweigen 2005 – 2008 | Zwischen Grant und Elend 2004 – 2006 | Wunder über Wunder 1996 | Ganzallerliebst 1994 | Paradiso del Cevedale 1992 | 1 Häufchen Blume 1 Häufchen Schuh 1989 | Die Kunst ist gegen den Körper des Künstlers gerichtet 1987 | Jedes Haar wirft seinen Schatten 1985 | Da Capo al Fine 1983 | Kribus-Krabus-Domine 1980