City Paper is not for tourists
There aren’t many films about Venetian nunneries, which alone might be reason to make one. Mattia Colombo’s Il Velo clocks in at just under 20 minutes, hardly enough time to give us a thorough look into the quiet lives of its subjects. Cloistered in the heart of the floating city, the nuns occupy themselves with small things: sewing garments, reciting prayers, watching birds. The film bathes these activities in a warm light but offers no commentary or perceptible message—we’re spending modest moments with modest women who lead very unusual lives. If the film isn’t life-changing, that’s because it doesn’t really set out to be. A few minor quarrels enliven this glimpse of a tightknit Franciscan community, but Il Velo is mainly about the tranquility of its subjects and the beauty of their surroundings—both of which are certainly worth the short time they’re allotted.
Screens with HolyWars at 6:30 p.m. at AFI Silver Theater 3; also on Friday, June 25, at 2:15 p.m. at AFI Silver Theater 1