[Essene] pays its attention to an Anglican religious community which on the surface has little or no connection to the urgent social and economic problems of [Wiseman's] previous films. A monastery in a rural setting—what could constitute a more radical departure from the concerns of those earlier visions of institutional inhumanity? In Essene we watch instead the rituals, routines, exchanges among a group of men committed to a life which secludes them from the deterioration of cities, the profanities of schooling, the anxieties and paralysis of so many institutional roles….
With Essene Wiseman focuses our attention on the quite specific collisions between a quite limited...
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