At the beginning of April, in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, we wrote about Doug Menuez‘s project for A Network for Grateful Living, introducing Benedictine Monk, David Steindl-Rast, and the film Doug directed called, “Blessings.” The piece included visual metaphors for the themes and verses Brother David was reading from his best-selling book. It bears repeating that, at the time, “There was never a better time for the world to hear messages of positivity and calm.”
“Gratefulness is the key to joy…Of course, there are many things that are terrible in our world today, but it gives me joy to be around – to be able to interact with – people who try to make the world better, to see what’s going on, even the difficult things.”Brother David Steindl-Rast
On July 12, 2020, in recognition of Brother David’s 94th birthday, A Network for Grateful Living premiered a second short-film, also directed by Doug Menuez, titled “Reflections.” When Brother David was visiting the U.S. for the “Blessings” film, A Network for Grateful Living knew this might be his last visit. Retained for his documentary photographic style, Doug was tasked with recording an in-depth interview with Brother David. “Reflections” explores Brother David’s ideas on mysticism, joy, anxiety, aliveness, death, and gratefulness.
Instead of creating visual metaphors as with the previous film, Doug told the story in true documentary style following Brother David with observational shots before the interview to set the stage for the significance of what was to come. The bulk of the film is the interview itself containing close-up emotional cutaway shots during key conversational moments. The goal was to focus solely on Brother David and his words.
Check out “Reflections” to take a step back, reset your mind, and walk away with some hope.
Visit A Network For Grateful Living for more on “Reflections” including the extended film version.
Follow Doug on Instagram for more stills and motion documenting humanity and what we all have in common.