In most US hospitals, alongside medical responses to illness and injury, lesser-known interventions take place every day. Responding to patients, family members, and hospital staff who are experiencing spiritual and emotional distress, chaplains sit at bedsides, helping people to deepen connections with themselves, to one another, and a world beyond this one. A Still Small Voice follows Mati, a chaplain completing a year-long residency at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital, as she learns to provide spiritual care to people confronting profound life changes. Following his acclaimed 2019 film Midnight Family, director Luke Lorentzen digs into Mati’s spiritual work as an entry point to explore how we seek meaning in suffering, uncertainty, and grief. Through Mati’s experiences with her patients, her struggle with professional burnout, and her own spiritual questioning, we gain new perspectives on how meaningful connection can be and how painful its absence is. As Mati and her patients take stock of their lives and experiences, space opens up to reflect on our own.
At the young age of 29, Natalia has made the life-altering decision to become a nun in the Byzantine Catholic Church, leaving behind her exciting life as a single woman and engineering student to dedicate herself to God. Natalia is a captivating exploration of one woman’s quandry to walk away from the world or return to it, delving into the depths of what individuals are willing to sacrifice for a higher calling.
Against the Grain showcases provocative and inspiring stories of individuals and institutions who challenge the status quo, break away from conventional thinking, and push boundaries, even if it means delving into uncomfortable and complicated places.