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Monks change from farm to brewing business in new documentary

“Outside the City” is a new documentary examining the lives of 25 Cistercian monks at Mount St. Bernard Abbey in Leicestershire, England. 

The film examines the difficulties in maintaining a religious community in an increasingly modernized world. It also looks at the transition period in the monastery from farming. to a brewing business, in order to help maintain the place.

The director of the film wanted to examine the lives of these men who give their whole life to serve God. 

Director, “Outside the City”
“It's really about a story of renewal and what does it mean for something ancient and traditional to carry on or not carry on.”
“I think if you watch the film it will remind you of the fragility of life, the impermanence of everything. However, it will also remind you that things renew, and actually, decay is the seed-bed for growth.”

He was fascinated by the great sacrifice these monks make to live this life of silence and seclusion; and the essential question it poses for everyone. 

Director, “Outside the City”
“The question I have is what happens if all I have is stripped away? Who am I? Do I even exist? The truth is there isn't an 'essential me' that is beneath all that. I've never encountered him, myself, but these monks go on a journey in the monastery to encounter themselves as much as they are seeking to encounter God. They are seeking to encounter self. I think that is an interesting challenge, because what are we if we don't even know ourselves?”

He hopes people watching this documentary will encounter another perspective of life that is often difficult for one to see in a consumerist, materialist world.