Film tells true story of miss­ing old monk

The Herald - - NEWS -

THE sud­den dis­ap­pear­ance of a monk is to be turned into a doc­u­men­tary.

The Pe­cu­liar Story of the Monk Who Went Miss­ing in­ves­ti­gates the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the dis­ap­pear­ance of Father Mau­rus.

De­spite be­ing aged 93, the Benedictine monk would still trek for up to eight miles ev­ery day in the forests that sur­round the 13th cen­tury Plus­car­den Abbey near El­gin, Mo­ray.

Or rather he did un­til May 8, 2005. On that day he went out for his usual walk and never re­turned.

A man­hunt was launched by the po­lice but no trace of Father Mau­rus was found.

The film talks to both the re­main­ing monks and to peo­ple in the area who spec­u­late on his ul­ti­mate fate.

This leads not only to sug­ges­tions of mur­der and de­ceit but also to ques­tions about un­bri­dled monas­tic faith.

But the film is far more than a list of con­spir­acy the­o­ries.

Its di­rec­tor, Christo­pher Court, is keen to stress that while suitably re­spect­ful of Father Mau­rus’ mem­ory it is also packed with many light-hearted mo­ments.

Mr Court ended up stay­ing as a guest at the abbey for six months while he made his film.

He said: “It was quite dif­fi­cult for me at first, hav­ing come from such a busy place like Lon­don. But, grad­u­ally, you get tuned in to the rhythm of the abbey.

“I like to think I gained the trust of the monks. They opened up and spoke freely about their lives.

“I also had un­ri­valled ac­cess to the abbey in the mak­ing of this doc­u­men­tary.

“You def­i­nitely get to see a dif­fer­ent side of monks.”

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