On Water and Bread
by Koštana Banović
Montenegro, 2019, 70 minutes
Director: Koštana Banović
Producer: Rolf Orthel
On Water and Bread focuses on the material practices of the Eastern Orthodox religion within a monastic community on islands located in Lake Skadar, Montenegro. These monasteries, each on a separate island, have their own dynamics and way of life. There is a women’s convent with fifteen mostly young and highly educated nuns. There is a monastery with a sole monk and another monastery in the making: a monk is rebuilding his monastery and its ancient church.
The viewer gets acquainted with them through their daily lives, the religious rituals and the way these nuns and monks physically experience their faith. Alternating worshipping God in silence and solitude, in collective religious ceremonies and rituals, and engaging in their everyday ordinary chores in the garden, the kitchen or on the water. Water, wine, fresco’s, songs, robes, architecture, personal and group rituals entice the viewer to experience it all and enter this landscape of a wonderful, sensual world.
On Water and Bread is at the same time a proposal and meditation on alternative ways of living.