Mt. Athos, April 8, 2021
Filmmaker Andrei Oprescu “has spent an extensive amount of time living together with the monks [of Mt. Athos], gaining their trust in order to be able to reveal a perspective that was never captured on camera before.”
The fruit of his labor is the documentary, “People of Mt. Athos,” for which he has already shot more than 100 hours of footage.
The trailer for the documentary was released on March 11:
Oprescu writes on the official film website that he began making it with his own budget, but is now in need of financial assistance to continue filming and complete the documentary. He is the head of an award-winning video production company in London that has worked with a wide range of companies over the past 10 years.
The filmmaker writes about Mt. Athos:
Mount Athos is perhaps one of the most fascinating places on Earth yet little is known about it and the monastic community living there.
Some could arguably say Mount Athos is a living museum, filled with medieval fortress-like churches, artefacts and fully inhabited by a men-only society who lives by ancient traditions. Never being a place of interest for the mass tourism and barely ever having any attention in the press, does not come as a surprise. The truth be told this was well premeditated for centuries. It is this secrecy that helped Mount Athos preserve a micro society that lives by medieval rules to this day.
Having all ties with the outside world cut for centuries made the unstoppable marching of time have a different tempo in Athos. From the large stone walls of the buildings, the way the inhabitants dress, speak, work and act, even the food recipes and the means of transportation are something that a modern person will consider of the past.
Today, and it has always been this way, Mount Athos is inhabited by a community of monks living by the strictest rules of Orthodox Christianity. For them everything they do seems utterly normal. For someone from the outside, it is a completely fascinating world, different in so many ways to what we perceive as normal. However, few were those who have witnessed these wonders.
A few incursions have been made during the last few decades, however those were superficial. Some of the most fundamental principles of a monk are to run away from the outside world, to live in obscurity. Therefore any attempt at making a documentary in Mount Athos has been in a direct conflict with those principles. A lot is known about the history of the place but very little about the monks themselves and their way of life.
To learn more about the documentary and donate to the project, visit the official website.