Into the Field
Into the field follows the everyday lives of nuns in a Romanian orthodox monastery, documenting the nuns' activities, relationships and roles within their community.
The majority of the 450 members of this monastery live as small groups in private houses, much like regular villagers, rather than inside the walls of the communal abbey. Throughout the year, they integrate their duties at home with their religious responsibilities to their community and to the church.
By visually exploring the social aesthetics of the monastery, the film depicts certain aspects of the nuns' everyday, lived experiences. Instead of exclusively focusing on the spiritual qualities of monastery existence, it documents the secular aspects of the nuns' relationships, activities, and routines, and offers a glimpse into the concrete ways in which they negotiate their identities within the separate yet connected spaces of home and church. The film also incorporates brief sequences of stop-motion animation, demonstrating some of the trials and tribulations that anthropologists sometimes encounter during filming and fieldwork. Intended as a reflexive meta-commentary, these passages point to some of the unpredictable and often uncontrollable processes of ethnographic investigation.