I would be highly grateful if someone would correct that for me:
Archimandrite Gabriel – an Orthodox monk from the Podlasie province in Poland – is the founder and sole inhabitant of the Kudak grove hermitage by river Narew. During his first few years there, he lived and prayed in a wagon house, without electricity, running water, or contact with the outside world. After five years, thanks to the help of people of Orthodox faith from local villages, the grove saw the rise of a wooden church, a dormitory for monks, and outbuildings.
Pilgrims are drawn to the place by archimandrite Gabriel's personality: he can find common ground with anyone, he grants spiritual advice, heals with herbs, and keeps bees. When necessary, he rolls up his sleeves and works on building the hermitage right alongside everyone else.
The archimandrite's biggest concern is finding a successor. Prospective monks don't last long in the hermitage, however. They can't stand the lack of access to civilization, common comforts, and contact with their peers.
My film is more than a story about an exceptional man and his work. In the lazy currents of the river Narew, not only the Orthodox crosses of the hermitage reflect but our globalized world, turned away from spiritual values, stricken with money fever and trading information too. The shootings lasted three years, long enough for me to notice and understand that.
The strength of "Archimandrite" is that - I have the impression - I was able to touch both the local, rooted in the Podlachian Belarusian Orthodox microcosm and universal values, fundamental in human life, regardless of age, and his place on earth as well. The confirmation of these words may be that the preview screening in the Bialystok Forum Cinema ran out of tickets on the second day of sale (the cinema hall has 400 seats). We had to quickly organize a second show, at which volunteers also were present two times more than the seats.