- Anthropology, Cultural History, Religion, Society, and History
PRESENT TIME is a poetic historical portrait of a monastery, representing 15 years and told over five seasons. Woven into these seasons is an intimate, observed chronicle of the everyday lives of monks. One monk records an audio journal of thoughts, sketches of life and humorous anecdotes from life inside the community.
- Show treatment
Established in 1947 the monastery was once a thriving community of 84 men. The monks built and worked a large industry of beekeeping and cattle farming, supplying eggs, bread, grain and honey worldwide. Now, with the average age of a monk close to 90, only five monks remain. The monastery will close.
The final 15 years of the monastery are followed over five seasons.
Beginning in the winter of 2003 and an effort to increase vocations, the film follows the decision in 2005 (highlighted in the New York Times) to sell some of the 1800 acres of much coveted land in order to build a new multi-million dollar monastic structure. An architectural firm builds models, money is raised and then in 2007, the community calls off the project. As monks continue to die and their community disappears, various options are debated. Finally, in 2015, a decision is made: the land will be preserved, and monastery will close.
PRESENT TIME offers a historic timeline of monastery from its establishment to recent events through archival photos, news media and photo archives of the monastery.
Woven into the monastery’s history are the monk’s daily monastic practices—life inside the monastery. Using personal audio journal excerpts from the life of one monk, the film offers moving, sometimes humorous, poignant insights into the daily rhythms of a way of life based on prayer and work.
With interviews and filmed verite material of the last fifteen years, the film offers a powerfully unique and moving portrait of a place, a community and a way of life.
PRESENT TIME will be the first, and last, film ever about life inside the Abby.
- in post-production
- John Slattery ... Director, Producer, Cinematographer
- Jona Newhall ... Sound Recording
- IDA ... Fiscal Agent
- Prod. Co.
- ZWEEN WORKS
- United States
- Years of Production
- Huntsville, Utah
- Prod. Partners
- Utah Humanities/ Utah State History
- Release year
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