Mother Vera

Mother Vera is an extension of the Ex-Voto project, focussing on the life of Orthodox nun Vera, whose powerful portrait is central to the Ex-Voto series. These are accompanying stills to the film which is currently in production. The short film was shown at the Rencontres d’Arles 2019 as part of the New Discovery Award. The longer, feature length version is due to be released in 2024, co-directed with Cécile Embleton and supported by the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund.

Shot in black and white in a lyrical, documentary style, Mother Vera moves from the hidden, religious world of the Belarusian convent to rural farmland, where men facing personal and social difficulties live and work. It is here that Vera expresses her deep connection with the horses that she looks after as part of her obedience (religious duty). The film is narrated by Vera as she tells her story of finding faith as a young woman and the impact it has had on her emotionally and spiritually.