• Director: Edward A. Burger
  • Country: China
  • Year: 2010

Alms is a cinematic tour through a remote, 1,200-year-old Chan monastery in the mountains of southern China, where a group of cloistered monks devote themselves to meditation practice. Narrated by the monastery’s dianzuo, or head chef, the documentary follows the monks’ daily lives as they gather local fuel and harvest vegetables from the temple grounds. From cultivation and meal preparation to consumption and food storage, each step of the food process—as you come to see so vividly in the film—both sustains the community as a whole and nourishes the path toward inner development.

Other Films in this Series