Movies available online for free:
- Battle of Kosovo 1389
- Остров (Ostrov – The Island)
- Peresvet & Osliambia (cartoon)
- Pilgrim’s Way
- Pop (The Priest)
- Pridel Angela (Angel’s Isle)
- Proverbs – 1 (A Strange Obedience, A Mute Prayer, A Visit by the Savior)
- Proverbs – 2 (An Altar Lamp, A Shirt, Three of You, three of us)
- Saint Mary of Egypt
- Saint Patrick – The Irish Legend
- Saint Seraphim of Sarov – Miracle Worker (cartoon)
- What Men Live By
- Your Own Cross (cartoon)
- Дома – 30 Orthodox Cartoons (all in Russian)
Documentaries available online for free:
- Extreme Pilgrim – Ascetic Christianity – BBC Documentary
- From the Little Mountain: Reflections on Orthodox Christian Monasticism
- Icon – 7 Part Documentary
- Mount Athos – Holy Mountain – CBS Documentary
- Pskov-Caves Monastery – part 1
- Pskov-Caves Monastery – part 2
- Step to the Skies – Valaam Monastery Documentary
Available for purchase:
- Alexander (St. Alexander Nevsky)
- Life of St. John Maximovitch
- Monastery: Mr. Vig & the Nun
- Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer
- Return of the Icon
- Two Andrews
Websites For Orthodox Films:
Scroll down to read descriptions of each film:
Alexander (St. Alexander Nevsky)
Forged in war, cast in heaven; the legend will live forever. Both a ruthless warlord and a canonized saint, the legend of Prince Alexander, the Warrior Saint, is an incredible tale of strength, courage and military genius.
Archimandrite Gabriel — an Orthodox monk from the Podlasie province in Poland — is the founder and sole inhabitant of the Kudak grove hermitage by river Narew. During his first few years there, he lived and prayed in a wagon house, without electricity, running water, or contact with the outside world. After five years, thanks to the help of people of Orthodox faith from local villages, the grove saw the rise of a wooden church, a dormitory for monks, and outbuildings.
Pilgrims are drawn to the place by archimandrite Gabriel’s personality: he can find common ground with anyone, he grants spiritual advice, heals with herbs, and keeps bees. When necessary, he rolls up his sleeves and works on building the hermitage right alongside everyone else.
The archimandrite’s biggest concern is finding a successor. Prospective monks don’t last long in the hermitage, however. They can’t stand the lack of access to civilization, common comforts, and contact with their peers.
Battle of Kosovo 1389
The Battle of Kosovo, also known as the Battle of Kosovo Field or the Battle of Blackbird’s Field
The Brethren is a documentary about the monks of the world’s northernmost monastery — the Trifonov Pechengsky monastery located in Kolsky Peninsula, Russia. It was Russia’s Northern outpost a few centuries ago. Later it was destroyed and abolished, and now it is being restored. The brethren of this monastery is small: 4 hieromonks and 2 monks. They are young, and every one of them has had his personal way to monastic ordination. All their life stories are nontrivial and even paradoxical. They are attempting not only to restore the buildings of the monastery but to build a temple in their hearts. The film features unique footage of inner life of the monastery.
Extreme Pilgrim – Ascetic Christianity – BBC Documentary
Forpost is a film about Orthodox monks providing shelter for disabled and orphaned kids amid poverty and indifference.
From the Little Mountain: Reflections on Orthodox Christian Monasticism
Filmed and edited by the monks themselves, From the Little Mountain takes you through a year at the hermitage of the Holy Cross in West Virginia. Herein is portrayed some of the beauty and struggle of monastic life using quotes from the Scriptures and the Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church. Insights about monastic life from one of the senior monks at the monastery are given as you are visually taken through the Church liturgical year and the changing seasons in the mountains. This is a unique documentary of an Orthodox monastery in the 21st century, but the imagery and principles set forth are as ancient (and relevant) as those written by the 6th century instructor of monks, Abba Dorotheos.
Icon – 7 Part Documentary
Life of St. John Maximovitch
This documentary is the first of its kind on St John Maximovitch. Containing dozens of never before published photographs, and with interviews with many who knew St. John very well, this DVD is an inspiring and fitting tribute to this wonderworker who is loved by Orthodox Christians all over the world. Even those thoroughly familiar with the life of St John will find this documentary contains much that they haven’t seen or heard before.
Monastery: Mr. Vig & the Nun
Worlds collide and tempers flare when Mr. Vig, an 82-year-old recluse who has never known love, and Sister Amvrosija, a headstrong nun, join forces to transform Mr. Vig’s run-down castle into a Russian Orthodox monastery. Together they face the many conflicts of living and working together as Mr. Vig realizes that the road to fulfilling his lifelong dream is more difficult than he had ever imagined.
Mount Athos – Holy Mountain – CBS Documentary
Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer
Leave your busy, stressful world for a moment to discover the ancient and powerful Jesus Prayer. Known by generations of eastern Christians, this mystical prayer has been in use since the Apostles, but remains largely unknown in the west. For the first time on film, desert hermits, monks and nuns reveal the simple prayer, bringing us into their private cells, caves and sanctuaries in the Middle East, Mediterranean, Eastern Europe and Russia. Narrated by Dr. Norris J. Chumley and Rev. Dr. John McGuckin.
Остров (Ostrov – The Island)
Ostrov (Russian: Остров, The Island) is a 2006 Russian biographical film about a fictional 20th century Eastern Orthodox monk. The film closed the 2006 Venice Film Festival, proved to be a moderate box-office success and won both the Nika Award and the Golden Eagle Award as the Best Russian film of 2006. The filming location was the city of Kem, in Karelia, on the shores of the White Sea.
During World War II, the sailor Anatoly and his captain, Tikhon, are captured by the Nazis when they board their barge and tugboat which is carrying a shipment of coal. The Nazi officer leading the raid offers Anatoly the choice to shoot Tikhon and stay alive which Anatoly reluctantly takes, and Tikhon falls overboard. The Nazis blow up the ship but Anatoly is found by Russian Orthodox monks on the shore the next morning. He survives and becomes a stoker at the monastery but is perpetually overcome with guilt.
Thirty years pass. Anatoly now has the gifts of prophecy and healing. But the other monks do not really understand him. People come to see Anatoly for cures and guidance, but even now, he remains in a perpetual state of repentance. He often gets in a boat and goes to an uninhabited island where he prays for mercy and forgiveness.
Peresvet & Osliambia (cartoon)
A Pilgrim’s Way: A Search in Sacred Romania
Pop (The Priest)
Set in Russia and based on the true story happened during WWII. Father Alexander (Makovetsky) is making every effort to maintain peaceful life for his church during the Nazi occupation. His mission is to survive through the deadly war and save the civilians. But he is only a human…
Pridel Angela (Angel’s Isle)
Angel’s Aisle unfolds in 1924, after Lenin’s death. We are introduced to a young Chekist (Aleksei Morozov), who demonstrates his commitment to the Bolshevik cause by executing a priest when all around him fail to do so. The operative, himself the son of a priest, is next instructed to pose as a postulant at the Konevsky Monastery and there await his next target. Under the alias of Maksim Proshin, he embarks on a journey outside of Soviet space in pursuit of much larger prey: the Regent of Finland, Carl Gustav Mannerheim.
In Karelia, Maksim encounters the youngster assigned to take him across the border into enemy territory. The generous, noble Zhenia serves as Maksim’s geographical guide and moral compass, forcing him to reevaluate his beliefs and behavior, a process that only intensifies when the two enter the monastic community’s life on an island in Lake Ladoga.
Proverbs – 1
These parables are told with sincerity, light irony and warmth. The film director was Vitaly Lyubetsky. Cinematographer Tatiana Loginova. Filmed in Belorus at St Elizabeth Convent, Russian Orthodox Church. 2010. Language: Russian with English subtitles.
Part 1 includes: “A strange obedience” (0:26), “A mute prayer” (15:43), and “A visit by the Savior” (27:33).
Proverbs – 2
These parables are told with sincerity, light irony and warmth. The film director was Vitaly Lyubetsky. Cinematographer Tatiana Loginova. Filmed in Belorus at St Elizabeth Convent, Russian Orthodox Church. 2011. Language: Russian with English subtitles.
Part 2 includes: “An altar lamp” (0:31), “A shirt” (16:59), and “Three of You, three of us” (42:08).
Pskov-Caves Monastery – part 1
Pskov-Caves Monastery – part 2
Return of the Icon
The extraordinary story of the Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God, its history, its journey into exile, and its momentous return home to Russia.
Saint Mary of Egypt
Saint Patrick – The Irish Legend
A young Christian boy attends a druid worship ceremony that is attacked by invading Irish tribes. Taken captive, he is taken back to Ireland to become a slave. Enduring many hardships, he finds comfort and eventually salvation in his faith. After several years, he escapes back to England, where he joins a convent to prove his faith. His greatest desire is to return to Ireland to convert the Irish to Christianity. Years later, he is given the opportunity. He overcomes many obstacles to fulfill his destiny and ultimately arrive at Sainthood.
Saint Seraphim of Sarov – Miracle Worker (cartoon)
Step to the Skies – Valaam Monastery Documentary
The life of Russian Orthodox monks on the islands of Valaam. The Valaam Monastery is often referred to as the Athos of the North.
“How could we describe the film that we have been making for several years and the main characters of which are extraodinary people in just a couple of words? Is it possible to convey their deep spiritual experience, spiritual simplicity, and unique paths of ministry? Finally, we decided to write that this film is just a documentary about two priests, Archpriest Andrew Lemeshonok from Minsk and Archpriest Andrew Logvinov from Kostroma.”
“True depth is always simple but when you touch it, it leaves a trace in your soul that lasts for many years or even for a lifetime.”
Written by: Galina Adamovich
Camera man: Yuri Dokuchaev
The DVD is available for purchase here:
The trailer can be viewed for free online:
What Men Live By
“What Men Live By” is a short story written by Russian author Leo Tolstoy in 1885. The story is about a poor shoemaker named Simon and his wife Matrena who, moved by pity, take in a man Simon finds naked and hungry. The man turns out to be more than what Simon thought.
Directed by Alexander Kushnir. Best picture prize at the Christian Orthodox Film Festival “Encounter” 2009.
In the quietness of a remote monastery, two monks are in constant touch with nature and purpose of the spiritual life.
Your Own Cross (cartoon)