Archives / 2000 Sundance Film Festival

Blessed Art Thou

Director: Tim Disney

Screenwriters: Tim Disney

Institute History

  • 2000 Sundance Film Festival

Description

Rarely does the name of a production company so completely capture the elusive essence of a film as does Blessed Art Thou’s Uncommon Productions. Miracles, or any sort of spiritual inquiry, are seldom the focus of independent work, and that is only one of a number of reasons why this is as unique and fresh a film as you will see this year.

Based on a short story that director/writer Tim Disney could not get out of his mind, Blessed Art Thou is the account of a monastery in the heart of California wine country which, with its centuries-old tradition of ritual, discipline, and solitude, has for the most part maintained a degree of insularity from the intrusions of the secular world. This is not completely possible, however, because the production of high-quality vintages, the business of running a seemingly outmoded institution, the turnover in the membership of the order, and other worldly concerns have definitely affected the traditional structure and stability of the community. And so when a member of the order experiences a miraculous encounter, the implications are significant and surprisingly fractious. A community customarily full of serenity and piety must grapple with the fundamental tension between faith and reason, but the results for us are sublime.

Without heavy-handed evangelizing or patronizing mysticism, Disney and his colleagues mold a lushly pastoral universe that is both invigorating and thoroughly beguiling. Part modern parable, part critique of institutional complacency, Blessed Art Thou is a stirring, sometimes ironic, yet ultimately fulfilling work of great conscience and intelligence.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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