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Mother Dolores Hart Documentary Went to the Oscars

February 29, 2012
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by Wendy Carlson for The New York Times

The New York Times published an article Feb. 24th, A Nun Returns to the Red Carpet, about the nomination of “God is the Bigger Elvis.” This documentary is about Mother Dolores Hart, the 1950’s and 60’s Hollywood star who received Elvis Presley’s first on-screen kiss. It had to be somebody, but the fact that she went on to become a nun, has the media repeating that fact over and over again. The documentary covers her Hollywood life as well as her cloistered life. While the movie didn’t win the Oscar, it is awesome that it did garner a nomination and make the movie that much more known.

This excerpt of the article about the heavenly coincidence about the movie’s coming into being is awesome:

The abbey — a converted brass factory set on 400 bucolic acres, which includes a chapel, a dormitory and a working farm — has been her home ever since.

It was not until she visited Washington in 2010 and met with Archbishop Pietro Sambi, then the apostolic nuncio to the United States, that the idea of making a film about monastic life was introduced. He wanted to make a film about consecrated life, she said, because he thought that people needed to understand it better.

“I said to him, ‘Archbishop, it’s been 50 years since I was in Hollywood,’ ” she said. “ ‘All my contacts are dead or gone.’ ”

“Have no worries, Dolores,” she recalled him saying. “The Lord will find a way.”

Two days after she returned to the abbey, HBO called. Call it sheer coincidence or heavenly intervention, but Sheila Nevins, executive producer of the film and president of HBO Documentary Films, who has a weekend home near Bethlehem, had suggested to Ms. Cammisa that the abbey and its Mother Prioress might make an interesting subject for a documentary.

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