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“Convento” is a documentary work of art that features three Dutch expatriates, the Zwanikken’s, who make their own lives and all that surrounds them a work of art.
Set in the historical Portuguese convent, The Convento São Francisco de Mértola, The Zwanikkens relocated there after Geraldine, a ballerina and artist, decided to make this bedraggled estate their home, their studio, their workshop, their artists’ retreat.
Instead of prying into the whys and wherefores of their existence, this film only chooses to let you see and feel what they’ve created over time, and the result is one of wonder and fascination.
The mother, Geraldine, goes about her daily tasks of cooking and cleaning, as well as creating works of art that enhance the surrounding grounds, the estate and its well being her art now.
One son, Louis, connected with the Earth, the building and the surrounding architecture, and the animals, and he spends his days in total bliss, connecting and interacting with these forces as he does.
The other son, Christiaan, has made it his life’s quest to create moving, speaking art from pieces of dead creatures he finds, combining these pieces with meticulously built machinery. His works of art are jaw dropping and must be seen to be believed.
This film has a very natural flow and ease about how it unveils the daily lies of these three remarkable people and the beauty they’ve brought back to The Convento São Francisco de Mértola.
The music score is sublime.
A work of art. Convento

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