Brother Sister (Bruder Schwester)
Germany 2010 | 90 min
Documentary film by Maria Mohr

A nun is in love with a dead monk – and her niece with her own deceased brother. Two pairs of siblings. And two destinies connected by more than mere kinship.

In Brother Sister, her first feature-length film, award-winning Berlin filmmaker Maria Mohr (Cousin Cousine) narrates the story of her aunt, a nun who has dedicated her passionate affection to the long dead Spanish monk and mystic Rafael Arnáiz. Fascinated by an existence in oscillation between Christian humility and an unquenched thirst for life, Sister Ingrid is indefatigably spreading word of Brother Rafael’s name and works, a fragment of one of his ribs always in her pocket.

Brother Sister follows Maria’s aunt on Rafael’s trail through Spanish monasteries and across Iberian landscapes all the way to his canonization in Rome. As well the trip leads into the filmmaker’s memory world. Her own brother died young, struck by a serious illness at the age of twenty-three. Though not a saint, he had a lot in common with Rafael ...

Director Maria Mohr interweaves these biographies into a poetic collage which also begs philosophical questions: Where is there freedom within the walls of a cloister? When does a yearning transform itself into faith? And: Which forms does such a passion find, one that does not become physical?