A “man of God” on the big screen

The Man of God

by Yelena Popovic

Greek film, 1 h 40

Nominated 15 times and awarded 11 times (including the audience award at 43and Moscow International Film Festival, and the Best International Film Award at the Siena International Film Festival), The Man of God, directed and written by Serbian Yelena Popovic, takes us through the story of the Orthodox saint Nektarios. This man, who at the end of the XIXand century, and until his death in 1920, aroused as much fervor on the part of the faithful as jealousy and bitterness on the part of the clergy, was canonized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1961.

Metropolitan of the Pentapolis (today in Libya), then representative of the Patriarch of Alexandria, he was expelled from Egypt after being accused of plotting to seize the office of the Patriarch. In Athens, Nektarios became director of a seminary, then, at the request of a group of young women wishing to embrace the monastic life, he founded on the island of Aegina, still in Greece, a monastery where the nuns. Persecutions and slanders continue until the end of his life. The religious, aging, broken by illness, whose spiritual writings meet with great success, is indeed accused of immoral relations with the sisters – he will be rehabilitated by the Patriarchate of Alexandria after his canonization.

The director touched by the life and writings of “ordinary people’s priest” chose to shoot with actors from very diverse backgrounds, from the Greek Aris Servetalis, who plays Nektarios, to the American Mickey Rourke, paralytic, beneficiary of the last miracle of the thaumaturge, to the Russian Alexander Petrov, who represents Kostas, right arm, faithful among the faithful of the saint. A casting choice intended to underline the universality of the character of Nektarios, whose interiority Yelena Popovic endeavors to show in depth, in a hagiographic bias.


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