In the Footsteps of Michelangelo

In the Footsteps of Michelangelo

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Running time:

55 minutes


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Closed Captioned:


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Westminster Abbey is a Benedictine monastery east of Vancouver. Like many monasteries, its walls are adorned with religious art. Reproductions of Fra Lippa, Piero della Francesca and other Renaissance artists are prominently displayed. But there's something different about this monastery. In addition to the reproductions, there are original, contemporary artworks created not by artist-priests of the 16th century, but by one of their own, William Harold Massey, or Father Dunstan by his religious name, now 79 years old.

In the Footsteps of Michelangelo follows a day in the life of Father Dunstan. His is a monk's existence-teaching, praying and reverence. At the centre of it all is his creation of "The Celestial Banquet," a huge fresco that will occupy one wall of the communal dining room. Representational yet stylized, it depicts The Last Supper in heaven. It will likely be Dunstan's last work, the crown jewel in a portfolio of murals, frescoes and sculptures which will remain in the abbey long after he's gone. It will be his Sistine Chapel.

This touching documentary is an intimate portrait of a priest who has devoted six decades of his life to God. Along the way, he offers frank insight into the monastic life, as well as faith, art and the relationship between the two.

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