Lovers of the Night
Germany / Ireland 2018, HD, color, 57min, documentary Producer: Anna Frances Ewert - Áine Films, Editor: Hauke von Stietencron
Seven elderly monks in a small Cistercian monastery in Ireland strive to keep their spiritual life and fragile community going. With shaky voices – but deeply committed – they gather in church seven times a day to pray.
A passionate rugby fan with a great devotional heart, 88-year-old Alberic stands at the centre of the film, weaving together the monks' individual stories and revealing the vulnerability of old age. While Alberic, who is slowly losing his eyesight, tries to decipher texts from the Christian mystics and the rugby news in the papers, Brother Francis trains on an old treadmill and Father Ambrose attempts to catch a runaway calf. With moving honesty and humour, the monks share significant experiences and often surprising insights into their life journeys. An attempt to capture the heart of a unique place before it vanishes, and to portray the yearning of the human spirit for the infinite in the transience of a finite world.
With great care, humanity and attention to the unspoken, Lovers of the Night is a documentary that is both lighthearted and emotionally stimulating. Ewert shows us the connection she has to the resident monks by showing them directly. They are funny, religious, honest and emotional, and that is what makes this documentary the masterpiece that it is. - MOVE Magazine
Lovers of the Night is both supremely confident and achingly compassionate filmmaking, as Ewert deftly plays the roles of director, cinematographer, and audience herself. It’s a film that doesn’t bask in the spiritual glories of a life well-lived, but instead lets these eclectic beautiful lives speak for themselves. - Cinema Faith
Anna Frances Ewert’s Lovers of the Night is a beautiful, generally light-hearted film that is surprisingly not centered on religion so much as the monks who practice it. They are happy — genuinely happy — and their humor and optimistic spirits make this film an absolute pleasure to watch. - VOX Magazine
Lovers of the Night is an absolutely beautiful tribute to these men through sharing their stories, and a successful attempt of impressing upon the audience to do good - or at least try. - Bearingnews
Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018
True/False Film Fest 2018
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2018
DOXA Documentary Film Festival Vancouver 2018
IFI DocFest Dublin 2018