Saturday, April 07, 2012

God is the Bigger Elvis

Dolores Hart was a starlet in the late 1950's and early 1960's. She appeared in movoes with Elvis and Montgomery Clift. She was beautiful, talented and seemed to have an interesting career ahead of her. Then suddenly she joined a convent, became a nun and disappeared from public life.

This short documentary provides a glimpse of what became of her. We see her as head of the convent going through her daily routines. She talks about her previous life, about her decision to become a nun shortly before getting married. She says that what attracted her to the convent was the life of peace there.

We also meet other nuns and they too talk about wanting to get away from it all and become "a bride of Christ." But the emphasis is on Dolores Hart.

This is a moving short documentary. One is torn between thinking that these women are to be respected for their decision. But one is also thinking whether taking such a drastic decision is simply a sign of some mental illness that drives people to this cloistered life.

I loved the last 10 minutes of this short film. Because it shows in a very low key way that no matter how sure we are of our decisions, there is always something within us that wonders what would have happened if we have chosen another way. That door we never opened or that we closed is always there in our mind, making us wonder "what if?".

This documentary is playing on HBO.

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