A beloved gem of pure cinéma vérité, the film stars Sister Marie Arné and Sister Mary Campion as they tour Chicago during the Summer of Love, asking strangers the question, “Are you happy?”
They meet a lonely girl, a happy mother, young lovers, hippie musicians, a sociologist, and even the actor Lincoln Perry, better known as the infamous Stepin Fetchit. Each interview is a complete and thoughtful piece of the person’s life, with no intercutting. The humor and sadness of these honest encounters lift the film beyond its experimental conceit into a serious and moving inquiry into contemporary society and the circumstances under which people examine their lives.
One of the earliest examples of Kartemquin co-founders Gordon Quinn and Gerald Temaner’s exploration into the world of cinéma vérité, Inquiring Nuns captures the attitudes, fears, and dreams of everyday Chicagoans, giving audiences and researchers insight into the political and social climate of 1960’s Chicago. The film’s music is composed by Philip Glass in his first credited film score.
Director: Gordon Quinn & Jerry Temaner, | US | 1968 | 66 mins
Music by Phillip Glass
Available formats: 16mm/DCP/Blu-Ray
Release date: 27th May 2019
VOD: Curzon Home Cinema from the 27th of May
“Full of idealism and an innocent faith in the possibilities of people, Inquiring Nuns is a soothing balm for our age of 24/7 online hate.” Guardian