My Brother’s Vows ⎮ Die Gelübde Meines Bruders

90 min ⎮ Germany/Canada ⎮ 2013
feature documentary film

produced by Florianfilm and Bunbury Films


Writer ⎮ Director: Stephanie Weimar
Executive Producer: Frederic Bohbot, Andre Schäfer
Producer: Rieke Brendel, Anna Steuber, Stephanie Weimar
Cinematography: Fabio De Felice, Erik Schimschar
Camera: Stephanie Weimar, Christopher Yapp, Sebastian Lange
Sound: Ralf Jakubski, Frank Mertes
Edit: Oliver Bronner, Carl Freed
Music: Andre Feldhaus
Sound design: Kyle Stanfield, Mikael Tobias
Commissioning Editor: Mechtild Lehning


Stephanie’s brother Gregor is about to make the biggest decision of his life. He has joined the Catholic order of the Steyler Missionaries to become a monk. If he doesn’t have a change of heart, he will take his final vows in a year’s time and commit to a life of chastity, poverty, obedience and service to the Catholic Church. Stephanie is highly critical of his choice. They come from a Catholic background, but Stephanie had her own reasons to break with the family tradition. They haven’t spoken in ten years.
This film is Stephanie’s quest to understand her brother’s extreme decision and explore his world that lies behind the thick monastery walls.
What she discovers may prove to be far more than she bargained for.

My Brother’s Vows presents a candid and sensitive portrait of Gregor’s journey to become a monk – his trials, tribulations and triumphs during this intense time. As Gregor opens up his life and shares his innermost feelings the siblings grapple with their very different attitudes towards sex, family, faith and religion. Together they explore some of life’s bigger questions – of having a purpose in life, of the power and illusiveness of faith, of the meaning of sex, relationships and family life.

As Stephanie and Gregor struggle to understand each other, the audience meets a group of Catholic monks who defy all stereotypes. The film offers a brutally honest and heartbreakingly touching look at a world that is usually carefully shielded from public view. My Brother’s Vows is a beautiful exploration of modern monastic life that calls into question everything you thought you knew about the Catholic Church and of one young man’s search for his place in the world.

Will Stephanie and Gregor be able to reconnect after all these years? Will he really take the final vows?

56th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film 2013
Berlin Independent Film Festival 2014
Filmtage Friedrichshafen 2014
Kirchliches Filmfestival Recklinghausen 2014
Lichter Film Fest Frankfurt International 2014
Dok Fest Munich 2014
Religion Today Film Festival 2014

Best Documentary Religion Today Film Festival 2014