The acclaimed Greek film “Man of God” will have its American release in 800 theaters starting on March 21 as a one-night-only screening, released by Fathom Events.
Filmed in Greece, the movie depicts the life of Saint Nektarios of Aegina, who endured unjust hatred and was persecuted by the religious establishment while preaching the Word of God. The film stars Hellenic Academy Award-Winner Aris Servealis, Russian actor Alexander Petrov, and American silver-screen legend Mickey Rourke.
“Man of God,” known in Greek as “O Anthropos Tou Theou,” was filmed in 2020, months after Covid-19 had severely curtailed lives everywhere. Locations for filming included Athens, Lavrio and Aegina, where the saint established a monastery. Some scenes at the monastery were filmed inside the actual room, or cell, where the saint lived.
“Man of God” explores the life of St. Nektarios of Aegina
The story begins with the 45-year-old cleric being ousted from Alexandria. The saint’s popularity, at the time when he was the Metropolitan, or bishop, of Pentapolis in Egypt, provokes the jealousy of some clergy there.
Fearing that he would become the next Patriarch of Alexandria, some of the clergy discredited him and as a result, he was expelled from Egypt. He comes to Athens, and thanks to his sophisticated pedagogical tactics, he becomes famous, and at the same time begins one of his great literary works.
The workload, however, overwhelms him so he retires to Aegina. He rebuilds a ruined monastery with his own hands, which, thanks to his fame, flourishes. The monastery, however, is never officially recognized, while Nectarios is unjustly accused of immorality. At the Aretaio Hospital, shortly after his death, he performs a final miracle.
Director Popovic Inspired By Saint Nectarios’ Struggle
The film was directed by Yelena Popovic, who also wrote the screenplay, having been inspired by the life of Saint Nectarios, reading about him during an international flight she took.
Popovic spoke online at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival in May 2021. She told listeners “I approached the story on a human level. I didn’t want to dramatize his sainthood. He had a life that was full of suffering and injustice. People would feel for him. I wanted to transmit something to the screen that was valuable and truthful. Saint Nectarios resonates on a human level.”
Popovic said “Personal struggle is a matter for all of us. The greatest victory is the one we achieve within ourselves. Its history is global.”
The director said, “That inspired me. Regardless of people’s beliefs, religious orientation, the world will identify with it and I believe that everyone will win by watching its history. It will inspire people. That is why I think that the film is not only for Greece. His story must be told everywhere and it will have an impact.”