Man of God (2021) Movie Script

[birds chirping faintly]
[bell tolling]
I am the ruler of
the whole world.
What would you like
me to give you?
What can you give me,
the slave of my slaves?
[somber strings instrumental]
[fabric rustling]

[pen scraping on paper]

[paper rustling]

[street din]
No, Your Eminence.
Not this time.
Look at me.
I can stand.
You said you were
going to pray for me.
Allah answered your prayers.
He answered your prayers.
- Thank you.
- It is the least that I can do.
The situation has become critical.
Patriarch loves him.
And the people of
Egypt love him, too.
We have to find a way.
Our lives are at stake.
Don't you think you are
being a little dramatic?
No, we cannot take the risk
of him becoming a Patriarch.
He's not fit for the position.
He would give every cent away
to native Arabs and beggars.
There would be nothing left!
Maybe he is good-hearted
and all that...
but definitely crazy.
A fanatic, I would say.
I'm not even sure
about his good heart.
He's a fake.
Remember he said "thank you"
response at the banquet?
What "thank you" response?
This "thank you" response.
"Oh, your Eminence,
we only want you to
become our next Patriarch.
We only want you,
Your Eminence!"
"Oh, thank you.
Thank you. Thank..."
Thank God you're not an actor.
He consorts with
harlots on the streets.
The Patriarch would
certainly not like that.
Metropolitan Nektarios
is the Patriarch's
spiritual child, his creation.
We need something
more substantial
to convince the
Patriarch to turn on him.
This is not going to be easy.
Things are much easier
than what you are
making it out to be.
Patriarch Sophronius
was a Patriarch of Constantinople
before he became the
Patriarch of Alexandria.
He was kicked out
after three years
because of, uh,
some kind of unrest.
He claims that,
uh, he was betrayed
by one of his men
closest to him.
He's scared to death of
losing his seat again.
He will not take any
chances when it comes to it.
Are you talking about
my son, Nektarios?
Is that who you are saying
is plotting against me?
I'm sorry, Your Holiness,
but it's him we're
talking about.
I know it is hard
for you to believe
that he can be a Judas, but
it's true, Your Holiness.
It is not hard for
me to believe that.
This flesh is filth!
[indistinct] Judas!
Your Holiness.
We strongly recommend
that you don't see or
speak to him again.
I need to be alone.
We are trying to protect you,
Your Holiness.
Get out.
All of you.
[tense, dramatic music]
It's beautiful, isn't it?
[Minas] It is.
Thanks to you.
Thanks to God, Minas.
Forgive me, Your Eminence.
But you know what
I think about that.
You must have faith.
With all the
injustice and poverty,
it is hard to have faith.
[Nektarios] You're right.
It's a lot of injustice
and suffering.
But that is exactly
why I believe
that our life here
is not all there is.
I have some faith
because of you, Father.
[men singing hymnals]
[paper rustling]

[paper rustling]

[singing ends]
[reciting in Latin]
[priests vocalizing]
Is it true?
They release you
from your duties?
We will not allow this.
They have no right to do
things without asking us.
Shame on them.
Please, let's stay calm.
I'm sure things will be resolved.
[fabric rustling]
Don't worry, Your Eminence.
We have more influence with
the government of Egypt
than they do.
We are financially
supporting the Patriarchate.
If they don't give
us a proper answer
why they removed you,
we will demand
Patriarch Sophronius
to be removed, and place
you in his position.
I need to speak to
the Patriarch first.
He brought me to Egypt
and ordained me a Metropolitan.
I am sure he will see me.
[indistinct chatter]
Please, don't worry.
[man] What's going?
We'll support you.
I know His Holiness is here.
I would like to see him, please.
He's here, but he is extremely ill.
I must see him.
Can I help you, Your Eminence?
I need to speak to Patriarch
Sophronius, please.
His Holiness does
not wish to see you.
I don't believe that.
What is there not to believe?
You have received an
official letter from him,
have you not?
The letter doesn't mention
the nature of my crime.
I was sentenced without a trial,
without the chance
to defend myself.
I deserve to know why.
For what reason?
For reasons known to us.
[mysterious music]
Go, go, go, go!
[overlapping chatter]
We want our priest!
[door handle rattling]
Your Eminence.
From the Patriarch.
[Nektarios] Thank you.
Please. Stay.
[paper rustling]
It's not a good news, is it?
What do they want from you now?
They want me to leave Egypt.
This is why I doubt God.
Don't ever doubt God, Minas.
The Patriarch don't
believe in him.
Please, don't say such things.
They want you to leave Egypt
because they are afraid
there will be an uproar.
People will demand
from the government...
They don't want anything
like that to happen.
Is that clear?
[Minas] But why, Your Eminence?
I'm not going to do anything
to hurt my father, Sophronius.
[Minas] Your father?
After what he did to you?
I can't go against him.
I need to leave.
Very soon and quietly.
No unrest, Minas.
[ship horn honking]
[luggage thudding]
[emotinal music]
Keep your faith, Minas.
Thank you, Your Eminence.
[woman 1] Your
decision to leave Egypt
has left us deeply saddened
and very emotional.
[woman 2] We
consider your removal
to be an irreparable loss.
[woman 3] The
Church of Alexandria
is being deprived
on one of the truly
distinguished Hierarchs...
[man 1] We are greatly
distressed over your departure
because we feel an
emptiness in our hearts
and consider the
deprivation of you
to be a great moral loss.
[boy] We kindly ask
you not to exclude us
from your prayers,
but to remember us,
your friends who love you
and long to be with you.
[seagulls squawking]
[market din]
[horse whinnies]
[dogs barking distantly]
[luggage thudding]
[muffled footsteps approaching]
[door creaking]
Mrs. Filanthi?
Please. Come in.
[mysterious music]
Good morning. Mr. Laskaridis
sent me. Do you need anything?
No, we don't need your services.

[door slamming]
[Nektarios praying in Greek]

[patients coughing]

[Nektarios] Lord, have
mercy on the poor,
the orphans, the widows,
those in sickness and sorrow...
in prisons.
Have mercy on them that hate me
and wrong me
and let them not perish
because of me, a sinner.
[door opening]
Your Eminence.
The Archbishop
sends his regards...
and he's very sorry
that he had to
cancel your meeting.
He's just swamped
with so many
unexpected occurrences.
If he doesn't want to see me,
it's all right.
Just tell me the truth.
I'd rather hear the truth.
[street din]
Can I sit next to you?
[gravel crunching]
It's hard to be hungry
and destitute
and there's nothing one can do.
But there is something in the
midst of this hopelessness.
When the Lord becomes
your only hope...
it's then that one
can feel His presence.
I have been blessed lately
to participate in your
suffering, my brother.
[footsteps approaching]
You're different than they are.
They don't seem
to care about me.
They don't seem to
care about me either.
But the good news
is God loves us.
Don't ever forget that.
Please, take these.
I have another pair at home.
[horse neighing distantly]
[gravel crunching]
[morose violin instrumental]
What have I done?
I must have done something.
Why didn't he want to see me?
What did they tell him?
He must be thinking
that I betrayed him.
I can't bear to think that.
Please, Lord,
give me a chance
to speak to him.
[Bishop 2] How are you
holding up, my brother?
[Nektarios] I do
panikhdas and funerals
thanks to people like you.
But it is not enough.
I don't understand why the Synod
does not give me a
diocese here in Greece.
[Bishop 2] Because they keep
slandering you from Egypt.
They keep sending letters.
Most of them are anonymous.
[Nektarios] I left. Why
don't they leave me alone?
If they grant you a
dioceses here in Athens,
you will become eligible
to replace the Patriarch.
But I don't want to
replace the Patriarch.
[Bishop 2] They don't know that.
And they certainly don't
want to be exposed.
[Nektarios] So, they will
never stop prosecuting me.
I will leave and
go to a monastery.
[Bishop 2] You can't do that.
You have a gift, my brother.
People listen to you.
In these difficult times,
Greece needs you.
What do you suppose I do, then?
I can't even get a position
of a preacher anywhere.
There are bishops and
priests like myself
that know that you are innocent,
and we will continue fighting
for you in the Synod.
In the meantime,
go and see the Minister
of Religion and Education.
He has the power to
appoint you as a preacher.
[door clicking]
[paper crumpling]
Sorry, Your Eminence.
Just one of those days
when everything goes wrong.
How may I help you?
I am Nektarios,
Metropolitan of Pentapolis.
I have been in
Athens now for a year
without means to support myself.
I kindly ask you to
appoint me as a preacher
wherever you wish.
I am willing to work for
food and a place to stay.
These are my documents.
And this is a letter
of recommendation
from the Holy Synod.
[Minister] You're more than
qualified to be a preacher,
Your Eminence.
But there is one problem.
You are not a Greek citizen.
Pardon me?
You were born in Silivri.
That is no longer Greece.
It is Turkey now.
So, now I'm not...
I'm not Greek?
What am I, then?
Could you help me
and tell me what I am
if I'm not Greek?
Forgive me for coming here
and wasting your time.
You seem to be the real deal.
No wonder they don't like it.
Who are "they"?
[Minister] You
know who they are.
Otherwise, with all
your credentials,
you wouldn't be here
asking me to get you
a position in the church.
There is a place that
no one wants to go to.
It's from the island of Evia.
Would you be willing to
get a position there?
Of course I would.
You're hired.
Thank you.
From the bottom of my heart,
I promise that you
will not regret it.
[horse huffing]
[peaceful music]
[carriage rattling]
[birds chirping]
- Good morning.
- [priest] Good morning.
[horse neighing]
[dogs barking distantly]
My dear brothers and
sisters in Christ...
blessed is the person who
has a clear conscience.
[man 1] Pharisee!
How misled
are those who seek
their happiness
outside of themselves,
far away from their own selves?
[man 2] Did you come here
to steal our money, too?
Shame on you!
[Nektarios] In riches,
in pleasures, in glory.
[man 3] Shame on you.
And in all vanities,
all of which...
end in bitterness.
[delicate piano instrumental]
Please help me, Lord.
What do you want me to do?
Should I leave?
I don't know what to do.
Please give me the strength
to do what is right.
What is your will?
[crowd booing]
so that the genuineness
of your faith,
more precious than gold
[indistinct] tested by fire.
And glory and honor
and the revelation
of Jesus Christ.
Without having seen
him, you doubt.
Believe in him.

Your Eminence.
They are persecuting
you from Athens.
God bless them.
Glory to God for your success
in the land of Egypt
and for your willingness
to support our church.
In times like these,
our church desperately
needs people like you.
We know that you're supporting
the Greek Patriarchate
of Alexandria
and we're grateful
that you responded
to our need and
came to visit us.
May God reward you greatly.
It's a true pleasure, gentlemen,
having you here.
- Who would like to start...
- Forgive me for interrupting.
Um, but before we
start the conversation,
we would like to know
where holy Metropolitan
Nektarios is.
Wasn't he condemned
a... and expelled by the
Patriarch Sophronius?
Shame on everyone
who condemned him.
Including Patriarch Sophronius.
Where is he?
I don't think he's in Athens.
Where is he?
I believe that he took
the position of a
preacher in Evia.
Of a preacher?
What's going on?
I'm sorry, but we were
informed about him
by the representatives
of your Patriarchate.
We want our
Metropolitan Nektarios
to come back to us as
our next Patriarch.
Before we proceed with any
business, we would like you
to make clear to everyone
that Metropolitan
Nektarios is holy and just,
and that he was slandered.
We will do that.
Let's send an urgent cable
to the dioceses in Evia.
[wind whooshing]
[grass rustling]
[birds chirping]
Elder Daniel,
why are you walking
ahead of the holy Bishop
he who is already included
in our church's holy hierarchs?
[somber strings instrumental]
[birds chirping]
[grass rustling]

Keep your mind in
hell and despair not.

[Bishop 2] No monastery for you.
Not yet.
We achieved this
despite the obstacles
from Alexandria.
They still cannot
forget about me.
Ah, forget about them.
You're the best possible person
to guide our young
men into priesthood.
[Nektarios] Dear
Father Sophronius,
I have officially become
appointed director
of the prestigious
Ecclesiastical Rizarios School.
Deep in my heart, I
believe that this news
will make you glad,
as you always believed in me.
Since I didn't get
a chance to see you,
please permit me
to ask in writing
for your forgiveness,
for whatever offense
I might have done.
I ask you to find
it in your heart
to forgive me,
whatever it may be.
I pray that you are well
and that God grants
you many years.
And I hope to see you again.
[school yard din]
Permit me to ask, gentlemen,
where are the
students performing
the church services?
In the church not far from here.
Unfortunately, one cannot
perform services here
due to the condition
of the chapel.
Something needs to
be done about this.
Obviously, Your Eminence,
but the funds are
simply not available.
We will have to find a way.
This is an
ecclesiastical school.
Permit me to correct
you, Your Eminence.
This is not only an
ecclesiastical school.
It is a regular
high school as well.
And our primary
focus is to provide
our students with an
excellent education.
[Nektarios] I understand.
But if we attend to the chapel
and make this place
look more appealing,
we will attract more students
who will be able to get
an excellent education.
Of course, I just can't see
how we can achieve
something like that.
Like I said,
the funds are extremely limited.
As a new director,
I will do my best
to help with that.
I'm happy to use my salary
and some of my skills,
and I'm sure that God
will provide for the rest.
I speak from personal experience
when I say that
God will provide.
that sounds... fantastic.
Please excuse me, Your Eminence.
Let me show you to your office.
[door shutting]
This is Kostas.
He will be assisting you
with anything you might need.
Nice to meet you, Kostas.
My pleasure, Your Eminence.
Let... let me take your
things to your room.
Thank you.
[door clicking]
Please, make
yourself comfortable.
We will be seeing you shortly.
Thank you very much.
[door shutting]
[birds chirping distantly]
[door opening]
How long have you
been here, Kostas?
I graduated last year.
Are you thinking of
becoming a priest?
Probably not.
So, uh, I will let
you settle in now,
Your Eminence.
Uh, whenever you
need me, I'm here.
Thank you.
[door shutting]
[pensive piano instrumental]
[birds chirping]
He sure looks different
than our last principal.
Remember he used to make us
pull weeds as a punishment?
I guess we won't have
to do that anymore.
We might even get lucky
and have some fun
once in a while.
I am here to become a priest.
Oh, I forgot.
From the jungle
that you come from,
fun is forbidden.
What did you say?
- What did you say?
- Forget it. Doesn't matter.

[branches rustling]

[Kostas] Your Eminence.
This is for you, Your Eminence.
Many letters from Egypt.
You ask me to keep an eye on.
I understand why the
people of Egypt love you.
We had you here for a short time
and you've performed miracles.
I... I read some
of your writings.
Yes, a... and...
I... I am very moved.
Which ones did you like?
I... I like...
[stammering] I like...
everything that I have read.
I think your writings
will help people.
I am glad to hear that.
I would like to have it
printed and circulated.
Oh, please, let me
assist you with that.
I... I know a very
good printer, um,
and I... I could also
submit your writings
to religious journals.
They need, uh,
materials like this.
I would appreciate
that very much.
[door clicking]
[door shutting]
What happened here?
- He insulted me...
- No, he insulted me.
He called me a Turk.
- Did you say that?
- [student 1] No.
Yes, you did. You call
us names all the time.
- You stole the book.
- What book?
The one that is in your bag.
He gave me that book
and asked me to read it.
- I haven't stolen anything.
- [student 2] You liar.
[Nektarios] I think
I have heard enough.
I have no other choice...
but to punish myself.
Yourself, Your Eminence?
[Nektarios] Yes, myself.
I will punish myself
with a hunger strike.
I would like you to
instruct the cook
not to send me food
for three days.
Are we clear?
Yes, Your Eminence.
And please, make amends
with one another.
Otherwise, I will
continue my punishment
for a longer time.
[door clicking]
[door slamming]
Jesus Christ, Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Jesus Christ, Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Jesus Christ, Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Jesus Christ, Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
[faintly] Jesus
Christ, Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Jesus Christ, Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
[swelling orchestral
[cutlery clanking]
[President Rizarios] I heard
you were looking for me.
Why are the students being
punished without my knowledge?
[door thudding shut]
Because we feel that you don't
exercise enough authority.
[Nektarios] I do
implement punishments
when I feel it is necessary.
A healthy balance between
kindness and authority is best.
[President Rizarios]
Punishing yourself
instead of the students
when they misbehave
is out of balance,
in my opinion.
It looks like your primary focus
is to direct our
students into priesthood.
Not everyone is destined
to become a priest.
We just came out
of the dark ages,
400 years of Ottoman
oppression and slavery.
Education is vital
for our development,
for the development of
both clergy and laypeople.
- I hope you understand that.
- Of course.
You are cultivating
asceticism in our students,
and we all know that asceticism
is a thing of the past.
It's dark age material.
I believe that you
have a distorted view
of what asceticism
is, Mr. President...
No, I have a perfect view
of what asceticism is.
It is a radical
approach to religion.
It's long [indistinct]
and long beards
and painting this holy image,
outwardly, of course.
A true ascetic does
not worry about
the outwardly appearance at all.
His main focus is to
correct himself inwardly
so he can get closer to God.
He's, in effect,
a true Christian.
Are you a true Christian?
I try to be.
[President Rizarios] Your
appointment at this school
has not been filed
with proper papers
and the talk at the ministry
says that you were expelled
from Egypt for moral reasons.
I was slandered.
[President Rizarios]
Of course you were.
[Nektarios] Did you request
background check on me?
No, Your Eminence.
We only asked for information
in an official capacity.
So, the Patriarchal
trust is bluntly informed
the civil representative
of the Greek government
that I was removed
from my position
because I was,
"rebellious, unethical
and immoral"?
Mr. Riparis finishes the
letter clearly stating
that he believes
you're a perfect cleric
who was unjustly slandered.
But slander keeps
following me, doesn't it?
Where are my accusers?
Where are the witnesses?
Where is the
evidence of my crime?
On what grounds?
After four years
of my unjust
departure from Egypt,
was this official
accusation of me made,
an accusation that condemns
me to immoral death.
What great wrong did
I do against you,
Your Holiness?
Why is there such a great wrath
and pursuit against me,
seeking my total destruction?
The purpose of my
outdated protest
is to bring you to the
knowledge of Your Holiness
that your every rough
against me is unjust.
May God be my witness and judge.
Vassili, leave
the garden for me.
You mop the whole
school already,
you need to rest.
I love this garden,
Your Eminence.
It makes this place
look so beautiful.
If you continue
doing my gardening,
I might have to take up
some of your cleaning.
Oh, no, don't even joke
about that, Your Eminence.
It is beneath you
to clean toilets.
Honest and hard work
is not beneath anyone.
Let's go and have some coffee.
You want to have coffee with me?
Yes, Vassili. I want to
have coffee with you.
[Vassili grunts]
Leave that here.
Come on, let's go.
[birds chirping]
I had to call this
meeting, gentlemen,
as a medical
emergency concerning
our student, Nicholas.
He has had fever
for over two weeks.
His condition looks critical.
And even after
doctors' treatments,
it is not getting any better.
Nor do the doctors have any idea
what is wrong with him.
His illness
seems to be of a mental nature.
Therefore, I suggest
we transfer him
to the sanatorium.
We need to inform his
guardian right away.
We cannot do such a thing.
He needs to go to the hospital
to be properly
treated and diagnosed,
which is right
across the street.
Not some sanatorium
far away from here.
After all, he does have a fever.
He is here on a minimum tuition.
I doubt he can afford
additional treatment
of any kind.
We should pay for it.
It's the least that we can do
for the child who has been
studying here so diligently.
We can't bear such an
expense, Your Eminence.
He's here on a
partial scholarship.
I think we already did
more than doing the least.
We should inform his guardian
immediately of our decision.
[Nektarios] I will
pay for it myself.
[doctor] We ran
all possible tests.
We don't know what's going on.
His health is falling apart.
I'm sorry to say this,
but we're expecting
the worst by tomorrow.
[somber music]
[Nektarios] What is
going on, my son?
You are holding something
heavy inside of you.
Whatever it is, know
that God loves you
and wants you to
do great things.
God has forgotten about me.
Why do you say that?
I studied hard...
so that I could come here
And help my father
and my sisters.
But it was all for nothing.
[paper rustling]
My father has...
Has killed himself.
And my step-mother sent
my sisters into servitude.
So, you see,
God wants me to die.
Let's see about that.

Here, Kostas,
inform our students
that we are going to
do an all-night prayer
for the healing of Nicholas.
[singing hymnal]

Father! Father!
Nicholas woke up!
He asked for food.
God heard your
prayers, Your Eminence.
God heard our prayers.
Look how beautiful they are.
[hymnal singing continues]
[singing continues]
[Kostas] "Justice and truth
compel us to not only endorse
the Metropolitan of Pentapolis,
but to affirm that his candidacy
is among the strongest
because he's one of
the most distinguished,
well-educated and
irreproachable bishops
that the Eastern Orthodox
Church has to offer."
- Kostas, I read it.
- I know you did.
I just need to point out
what the most respected
religious journalists
think about you.
"His character is
such that if someone
other than himself is chosen
for the Patriarchal throne,
he would be most pleased."
I'd like to remain most pleased.
Father, do not say such things.
They wilt you.
I hope, uh, you are not avoiding
your heavenly call to duty.
I am not avoiding anything
and especially not
the heavenly things.
I just prefer the simple people.
It seems that your
time has come.
Don't forget the ones
who did not side
with the slanderers.
[emotional music]
[bells ringing]
We are praying you're elected.
Justice will prevail this time.
[bells ringing]
[crowd murmuring]

[Nektarios] Your silence
used to cut like a knife.
One word from you would
have soothed my pain.
Even a lie or a courtesy.
But nothing?
Like I meant nothing
to you at all.
Did you really believe
that I was a fraud?
That I wanted your seat?
Or has the fear of
losing your position
blinded you to such an extent?
You used to call me
your son, remember?
I loved you like my father.
But some other things
were more important to you
than your son.
My beloved father, Sophronius,
justice will prevail today.
I will not be
elected a Patriarch.
[paper rustling]
[paper tearing]
[objects clattering]
[melancholy music]
[people whispering]
Thank you.

[door thudding shut]
[sighs] Father.
How can you be happy?
You should have been the
Patriarch and you know it.
Everyone knows that.
Let God's will be done, Kostas.
[Kostas] You are meant
to do great things.
You don't have to be Patriarch
to do great things.

[pen scratching]
Your Eminence! I
need to talk to you.
[soft chatter]
Your articles and your books
are so full of wisdom and truth.
And what's more important,
people listen to
what you have to say.
You know,
we have a serious problem
with heretics in our city.
Would you be able
to write something
to encourage people to stay
with the Orthodox tradition?
It would be my
pleasure, Your Eminence.
I need your help with this.
can you make an effort
to clear your status?
Pardon me?
You need to clear your
status with Egypt.
They need to give
you a dioceses.
I have done everything
that I could
to resolve my
situation in Egypt.
Perhaps you could help me.
First, you need to
resolve the matter
with the Patriarchy of Egypt.
You are considered
a traveling Hierarch
because of your status,
meaning not a Greek citizen.
[soft chatter]
I am still not considered Greek.
You're a holy man, Your Grace.
Forgive me for bothering you.
You are not bothering me.
It is so good to be here.
There is so much light
in your presence.
I mean, not like anyone
else would see it,
Your Eminence.
I lost my eyesight
due to illness
when I was very little.
My parents had to make a choice
to let me get a certain vaccine
and become blind,
or to let me die.
Thank God they chose
to let me live.
Life is so beautiful,
Your Eminence,
I have been so fortunate.
And also to meet you
and get your blessing.
What is your name?
Xenia, thank you very
much for your kind words.
Thank you, Your Eminence.
Forgive me if I am
being bold, but...
is there any way I can
speak to you again?
A few of my friends and I
would like to become nuns.
Could you help guide us?
It would be my
pleasure to help you.
Please, come and
see me at my office.
Jesus Christ, Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Jesus Christ, Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Jesus Christ, Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Jesus Christ, Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Jesus Christ, Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
[hymnal singing]
So, please, tell me.
When did this idea about
becoming nuns come about?
We have talked about
it for a long time
and we have all decided
that we really want to do that.
Your desire is
indeed beautiful...
but are you aware...
that by becoming a nun,
you're accepting poverty
and a very difficult life?
We are aware of it.
Our life has not been easy.
We all grew up as orphans
in extreme poverty.
Hardships don't scare us
as long as we can stay together.
Only a few are chosen
to take this path.
You must be truly
ready and willing
to go through it until the end.
We are, Your Eminence.
Is there a place where
you would like to go?
Have you visited
any monasteries?
We visited quite a few,
but it's hard to find a place
that will take all of us.
And we want to remain together.
So, the best option
would be to find a place
where we can
establish the convent.
[women giggling]
Thank you, Your Eminence.
We will start
searching immediately.
[joyous folk instrumental]

[Nektarios] Whose land is this?
[woman 4] It was
[indistinct], Reverend.
[cutlery clanking]
I have a few girls
who are my spiritual daughters
who wish to become nuns.
They found an old monastery
that is in ruins in Aegina.
Since Aegina is under
your jurisdiction,
I would like to get
your blessing for them
to establish the
monastery there.
That is wonderful. You
have all of my blessings!
Thank you, Your Eminence.
[Theoklitos] Thank God for that.
We need to reawaken monasticism.
We need young nuns.
Most of the monasteries
are practically graveyards.
As a matter of fact, I even have
a few young nuns from Sparta
that would like to
join the convent.
If you go ahead and do that,
I promise that the monastery
will get recognized
by the Holy See.
Thank you, Your Eminence.
You know, I really need
your help with things.
Any news from Egypt?
I reached out twice
to His Holiness,
Patriarch Photios of Alexandria.
I know for a fact that
he received my letters
but as usual, there
was no response.
Also, I reached
out to his grace,
the Ecumenical Patriarch
of Constantinople,
Joachim III.
That is fantastic. He
can definitely help.
[Nektarios] Honestly, I
don't see why the Synod
here in Athens cannot
appoint a dioceses
to traveling
Hierarchs who taught
their future priests
so many years.
As I said to you previously,
it is complicated.
[cutlery clanking]
[Nektarios] We have
sugar, cumin and bread.
Silk as well, and
manuscripts, of course.
[Nektarios] Excellent.
We should send money
to [indistinct].
She will make sure
it gets to them.
Is that all right, Kostas?
Father, I'm happy to do
whatever you want me to do.
I just don't see
how it's possible
to rebuild the
monastery on your salary
and a few donations.
With God, everything
is possible.

I got more mulberry
and fruit trees.
They will have them
planted all over Aegina.
How many trees have
we shipped so far?
6,000 or 7,000, I believe.
[Nektarios] Don't worry, Kostas,
they gave them to me
for almost nothing.

I would love to send a
few copies of my new book.
Have we been able to print any?
Unfortunately, we have not.
We owe money to
the printer, again.
It's all right.
It will just have to
wait until I get paid.
Of course.
[footsteps approaching]
Why are the toilets so filthy?
[Kostas] Our janitor
is in the hospital.
And why haven't we
found a new janitor?
How hard can that be?
I found a replacement already.
[President Rizarios]
Oh, you did?
Do you mind telling
me who it is?
[Nektarios] Someone
that I trust.
Who are those women who
have permit passes...
and why do they come here?
They are my spiritual children.
Your spiritual children?
They want to become nuns,
and they seek my advice.
So, it is not enough that
you are trying to persuade
everyone in here
to become a priest.
Now you're grooming
nuns from here, too?
I want them to
return their passes
and refrain from coming here!
[books thudding]
I'm sorry, Your Eminence.
I didn't mean to do this.
No, I am sorry.
I made you angry.
[books rustling]
[scrubbing in distance]
[Vassili] Your Eminence?
Don't worry. I will
not take your job.
[Vassili sobs]
You saved me and my
family, Your Eminence.
Please... let's keep
this between us.
Go rest...
and I will be waiting for you.
Thank you.
I want to tell you something.
[footsteps approaching]
I have been tired lately.
I have less and less strength
to do things that I want to do.
You know that I wish to
retire to the monastery.
I feel that it is my duty...
to go to Aegina and
take full responsibility
for the monastery and the nuns.
I cannot believe what
I'm hearing, Father.
You're a respected
hierarchical writer.
You cannot leave it all...
and go to some deserted island.
[Nektarios] My inner
voice, my heart...
has informed me that I
have to go to Aegina.
If they invite
you back to Egypt?
Please, stop
thinking about that.
I will never stop thinking
about that, Father.
You deserve to
become a Patriarch.
There lies a danger
in what you desire for
me to become, Kostas.
When you become a Patriarch...
you become a man of power.
The position of power
is like a cancer;
it eats at you slowly, and
you don't even know it.
Before you realize,
you can turn into something
that you once despised.
Many great men have fallen
because of the power
they were given.
I would rather not
fall into that trap.
I beg you, please don't go.
[Nektarios] I made up my mind.
You're going... to
leave me all alone.
You are not alone, Kostas.
more of a father to me...
than my real father ever was.
Please, I'm not leaving you.
Good things will happen to you.
Come on, have faith.
May I come in, Your Eminence?
[Nektarios] Of course.
[door clicks closed]
I've come to say
goodbye and, uh...
to say...
believe it or
not... thank you.
[Nektarios] Thank
you, Mr. President.
You really mean that, don't you?
[Nektarios] Of course I do.
I'm starting to think
that you're not human.
[Nektarios] I can assure you
that I am human, Mr. President.
No, no, I can assure
you that I'm human.
I'm the one who dislikes you.
Maybe I... I envy
you in a strange way.
Although I dislike
your... Your ways, your...
asceticism and everything
that comes with it...
Quite frankly, I can't stand it.
But I see that you
have found peace in it.
So, I must say that is good.
Do you have peace,
Mr. President?
[clock ticking]

No, I do not.
But I don't care about that.
I only care about
knowing the truth.
Without having peace
in your heart...
you will never be able
to know the truth.
[President Rizarios] So, I
need your God to find peace?
He's the one not
letting me have peace.
He's the one who's been
tormenting me all my life.
I wish I would have faith.
And believe.
But I can't deny reason.
You stand for something,
Mr. President.
You are a good man.
I'm sure you will find the way.
[joyful folk instrumental]

[rocks clanking]
[rocks rattling]

[music crescendos]
[music softens]

- How much do I owe you?
- Nothing.
Just give keep blessing
our nets, father.

You left class
early, [indistinct].
They were not teaching
us today, and...
I already know how
to read and write.
You can always get better at
it or learn something new.
I'll read here, next to you.
John the Foreigner
Do you know what
foreigner stands for?
That's his last name.
That is not it, my dear.
Do you know why we also call him
John the Baptist?
That's his middle name.
You see, you still
have a lot to learn.
I'm sorry. It's almost
time for vespers.
I need to go and get ready.
[hymnal singing]

[singing muffled]
[Nektarios] So, how
is life in the city?
I got many new accounts, uh,
for your articles in books.
No more owing money to anyone.
My new job is great,
and now that I have
a room here to stay,
I... I can't...
really complain about anything.
You see? Things
always work out.
Yes, you're right,
Your Eminence.
It is time for the Synod...
to officially accept
the monastery.
I wrote to Metropolitan
I didn't get a response.
Perhaps you can visit
him on my behalf.
Father, um, there has been rumor
that Metropolitan Theoklitos
is planning to shut down
- your monastery.
- That cannot be.
He is the one who gave me
his blessing to establish it.
I know.
You shouldn't believe
these rumors, Kostas.
You know better than that.
I am afraid that this
is not just a rumor.
It looks like he was unhappy
that you left Athens
and came here.
He wanted you there to help him.
And you know that you could
still become the Patriarch.
[Nektarios] They never
gave me a diocese
and you believe that they
will elect me a Patriarch?
[Kostas] The people of Egypt
want you to become
their Patriarch.
[Nektarios] You must
realize by now...
that it doesn't matter
what the people want.
[somber string instrumental]

[Theoklitos] My
soul is deeply sorry
by having been informed
by Your Eminence
that without my
knowledge and will,
a community of women has
been created in Aegina.

Why, without the knowledge
and consent of myself,
the canonical Hierarch,
did you create the monastery?
And for what purpose?

So, now you know nothing
about this, my brother?
Absolutely nothing?

[Xenia] Has the decision from
the Metropolitan arrived?
Yes, it has.
[Xenia] Is he seeking to
absolve the monastery?
He wants a written account
and a detailed report.
I will prepare mine
but I need your help...
to prepare the report that
will name each sister...
the details of their enlistment
and their financial
There is nothing
else that we can do.
[Xenia] Your Eminence.
You suffer so much.
And all your suffering
is because of us.
I think you should leave.
You have done enough.
We will find the way.
I would never betray you.
[Xenia] You wouldn't be
betraying us if you left.
Yes, I would.
And that would cause a
pain so devastating...
that it can break your soul.
Believe me. I know that pain.
The property is private.
If the monastery is not
acknowledged by the Synod,
the state will not
accept it either.
All the donations, and
I see there are many,
will not be considered
part of the monastery.
Neither will the
private property
that some of the nuns
donated themselves.
If you make it a church property
that belongs to the Synod,
they will most
likely go with it.
It does, however, put the nuns
at the mercy of the Synod.
It needs to remain independent,
privately owned by the nuns.
Then the Synod will have
to acknowledge it that way.
Are you telling me
that we are completely
at the mercy of the Synod?
There is another
way, Your Eminence.
I just don't know
if you will want
to take that route.
- What it is?
- If the Synod
doesn't acknowledge
the monastery,
you can make this place
into a non-profit entity...
in which case the
state will approve it.
And it will operate as
an independent convent,
just like those in the West.
We shall do that if we must.
Don't you see that...
all these obstacles are signs
that you should
leave this place...
Go do something more
suitable for yourself?
To what more suitable
thing do you refer?
Some high position
in the church?
I don't understand you, father.
When they exiled you from Egypt,
when they persecuted you,
when everyone wanted
you to defend yourself,
you remained silent and
turned the other cheek.
But now, when the monastery
and those women are
being persecuted,
you are not only willing
to speak up and fight,
you are even willing to
go against the Synod?
My dear, Kostas, when
you're persecuted...
the right thing to do is
to turn another cheek.
But when your children
are persecuted
because someone is
trying to hurt you,
the right thing to do
is to fight to
protect your children.
I'm sorry, father.
I just can't accept and
never accept that you,
the greatest Hierarch
of our church...
is at the moment stuck
here... in these hills...
withering away.
My body may be withering away...
but my soul is not.

I wish she would just leave
me alone and disappear.
I understand. Don't worry.
You need to pray
for your mother.
So, my dear, have you
come to your senses?
Mother, I am
perfectly happy here.
You are not happy.
Everyone knows that
only broken people
end up in monasteries
and they end up dying in misery.
[Maria] I feel
quite the opposite.
You should go back to
your husband, Maria.
I don't have a husband.
You forced me to marry that man.
I am not going back to him.
[mother] Do you
think I like being
with your whoremonger father?
I took care of you even while
he left us with nothing.
Do you think it was easy?
[Maria] What do you want me
to do, prostitute myself?
I don't want to talk
about this anymore.
What have they done to you!
- What have they done to you?
- My dear woman.
May I help you?
I want my daughter back.
Tell her to come
home with her mother.
[Nektarios] Maria...
do you wish to go
home with your mother?
No, Your Eminence, I do not.
I want to stay here. Please.
As you can hear,
she wishes to stay.
You tell her that she needs
to come home with her mother.
I cannot.
And I will not do that.
I will make you pay for
this, you whoremonger.
The whole island
knows about you,
you fallen bishop!
You were defrocked
and thrown out.
And you think that
you can come here
and pretend to be holy?
Well, you have angered
the wrong woman!
I will see you in hell!
Dear sir, I need to
talk to you urgently.
[Sir] I'm sorry, dear
lady, but you need
to make an appointment, first.
Metropolitan Meletius
told me to come here.
His grace, Meletius sent you?
They took my child.
They took her away from
me and destroyed her.
Who has taken her?
That fallen bishop
in Aegina, Nektarios.
He manipulated her
and seduced her.
I tried to take her back home
but he won't let me see her.
I think he has gotten her
pregnant like the others.
I don't know what to do.
He has turned her against me,
[deep sob] and he took her away.
Come with me.
I promise I will take
care of this personally.
You have brought shame
to the title of bishop.
You should read
these accusations.
It is a disgrace!
What are you doing
with these women?
What is wrong with you?
I had to come here
with an examiner.
You have created a scandal...
for the church.
Please, forgive me.

[soft ominous music]
[distant rustling]

It seems like you're
innocent... For now.
I will be sending
you instructions
on precisely what
I want you to do.
And I'll be checking on you...
on a regular basis.
And please, try to dress
more appropriately.
You look more like a
beggar than a bishop.

I have been praying.
Praying about what?
Can you please tell me
what were you praying about?
I was praying to God
to punish that awful
man who came here.
[Nektarios] You should
never pray to God
to punish anyone, my dear.
But why? He was awful to you.
God wants us
to forgive people
that treat us badly.
We have to pray even
for our enemies.
I'm sorry, but I
don't understand.
[Nektarios] You don't have
to understand everything.
But trust me on this. Hmm?

Are you the famous
bishop, Nektarios?
I am the bishop, Nektarios.
How may I help you?
Don't act holy
with me, you fraud.
You may fool your metropolitan
but you cannot fool me.
I know what you
have been doing here
with you so-called nuns.
How many stillborn
children have you buried
on these grounds, you murderer?
Why don't you answer,
you hypocrite!
Stop this. He's sick.
[objects clattering]
You are all insane,
to defend this devil!
[clattering continues]
Why are you doing this?
Get off this bed. Now!
She can't move.
Leave her alone,
there's nothing here.
Move her!
[objects breaking]
Father. Why don't
you say something?
You're not going
to escape justice.
You're going to jail!
I'll send a doctor...
to give a medical
examinations of all the nuns.
Starting with
Maria [indistinct]!
[women screaming]
She's a virgin.
[distant yelling]
[singing in Greek]
Hey, old man!
Those stories about you!
Are they true?
Come on... come on!
They must be true.
You can tell me.
You can confess to me.
I understand, no
one can be normal
in this miserable world.
You have to become crazy...
in order to survive.
I know...
I am a thief on the cross.
I know how bad we all are.
[singing in Greek]
[folk instrumental]

[Nektarios grunting gently]
I need to sit down.
You have been in pain for
some time now, father.
Maybe we should call the doctor.

Please bring me a
glass of lemonade.

Why did they build
this window here?
It's for the food.
It's easier that way.
Easier for whom?
It wouldn't be better for
them to come in and help you?
Don't worry, Kostas.
Father [indistinct] here...
has been taking care
of me quite well.
I must confess something
to you, father.
If it had been done to me...
what has been done to you,
I would not go to
church anymore.
I am amazed at your faith.
Well, to me...
if my faith...
depends on man...
[nurse] The doctor is here.
[gloves rustling]
You need to have prostate
surgery right away.
I can arrange for the hospital
to take you immediately.
We shall see.
[nun 3] Are you sure you
want to do this, father?
We're preparing to take
you to the hospital.
You need to preserve
your energy.
I want... I want to
speak to my mother.

[soft grunting]

[quiet gasps]
[gently sobbing]
Please, Mother.
Please, help me, Mother.
I cannot bear...
this much pain.
Please, Mother.
I will not longer...
be able to help my children.
Please Mother...
please protect them.
Please Mother.
Mother, ask your holy son...
to guard them from
danger, please.
Please protect...
all people of this island.
Please, Mother.
[soft music]
[nun 3] Are you
all right, father?

Who is that?
He's a poor family man.
Fell from a cliff and became
paralyzed the waist down.
Do you think
he will be able to
survive the operation?
You must be a man
of God to have...
so many nuns caring for you.
Only God knows.
[paralyzed man] I
don't understand.
I don't understand why God...
just didn't let me die
when I fell off that cliff.
I don't under...
I don't understand why.
He has...
He has a purpose for you.
My brother.
A purpose?
What purpose?
I can't do anything.
I can't move my body, I...
All I can do is
lay here like a...
Like a piece of meat.
I can't take care of my family.
I can't feed my children.
I can't do anything.
I don't know why I'm here.
Every one of us...
should ask that question.
You are.
You are just forced to do it.
Oh, holy man of God.
Oh, holy man of God.
Will you please...
Will you please pray for me?
Maybe God...
has a surprise for you.
[wheezing gently]
[wheezing continues]
Are you speaking to me, my Lord?

[deep operatic singing]

[operatic singing continues]

[music ends]
[moving strings instrumental]

[music ends]