"Ave Maria" is one of five live-action short films nominated for the Academy Award this year and is getting great reviews from religious sisters, as well as from Jewish and Palestinian Arab and Christian audiences, according to The Global Sisters Report. This 14-minute comedy of errors combines the unlikely encounter between contemplative Carmelite nuns who live a vow of silence and a family of Jewish settlers whose car breaks down in front of the convent in the Palestinian West Bank. The Jewish settlers are struggling to adhere to the Sabbath laws while the sisters are attempting to help repair the car with no verbal communication.
Palestinian-British director Basil Khalil wanted to highlight in the film that sometimes "strict rules can be broken for the common good. ... It won't be the end of the world when you reach out to help someone in need, even though you might have to break a rule or two."
Learn more about the Carmelite order here.