Film ID:
YFA 5688

ECHOES

1972

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Description

This is one of several award winning films made over a seven year period by Bill Davison of Selby Cine Club.  This film follows the story, told in the first person, of a young nun who falls in love and is tormented by the choice between her love and the Church.

Title – Peter Stegall, Pat Glew 
Title – In Bill Davison’s, Echoes  

The film begins with a nun walking through the grounds of a convent.  She enters a church and kneels to pray at a statue of the Virgin Mary where she recites the ‘Hail Mary.’  The soundtrack reveals her inner monologue, wondering why she is so confused, and despairing that she seems to have lost all purpose in life.  She ruminates that it is a year to the day that she entered the convent, reflecting on her starting at the convent and at how proud her parents were.  There are scenes of her first days.  She continues her narrative, relating how she has lost her confidence, and wishes that her parents were around to guide her.  She relates how Sister Paula had helped her when she first joined.  There are scenes of her meeting the Mother Superior for the first time, somewhat more formal, and her saying an emotional farewell to her parents.  Her first days at the convent are re-enacted as the nun continues her story, meeting the priest, Father O’Brian, and saying how exciting it all was.  

She then relates the, “fateful day” when she volunteered, as it was not a closed order, to help old people and work at a local youth club in the parish.  She meets Peter, the resident youth leader.  She relaxes with the youth, having to overcome their preconceptions, usually stemming from the film, The Sound of Music.  They nicknamed her “Penny.”  She plays cards with some of the youth club members, with an Elton John song playing in the background.  Then she and Peter serve behind the bar.  One of the female members, Sheila, clearly has problems, looking depressed as she sits on her own in a corner.  Sheila then disappears, and the nun goes looking for her.  She eventually finds her in a toilet having taken an overdose.  Shirley is saved, but it turns out that she is pregnant.  This leads to some distress for the nun, and she is helped through this by Peter.  Together they go and see Shirley’s parents to tell them of the news.

The nun relates how she became reliant on Peter’s judgement, someone who had become like a brother to her.  The two of them go off together to view a place for a club outing.  As they walk through a historic ruin and gardens Peter takes her hand and they stare into each other’s eyes.  The nun recalls that she hadn’t admitted to herself her real feelings for Peter, which were not of those of brother and sister.  

She returns to the convent to find peace, but there was none.  She talks to Sister Paula, who is sympathetic, but the Mother Superior tells her of her duty to God and the Church.  Sister Paula suggests seeing Father O’Brian, but she only goes to confession, feeling guilty, and unable to make a final decision of choosing between the Church or Peter.  Images of Peter keep flashing through her mind, and she prays for help.  She walks out of the Church and the day turns to night.