In the Tigre Province, in the north of Ethiopia, lies a remote and closed territory known as the Woldeba, entirely dedicated to monastic life.
There, far from prying eyes and away from worldly matters, a thousand or so monks and hermits live a life of abstinence, fasting and perpetual prayer. For these religious people, dying in the Woldeba means that they will directly enter paradise.
No film has ever been made on this vast and virtually unknown territory.
For the first time, François Le Cadre, researcher at the Centre for African world studies, will travel to the Woldeba in order to observe the monks’ religious practices and find out about Saint Samuel, who founded the most important monastery of this “land of monks” in the 14th century. Saint Samuel is highly celebrated in Ethiopia and his teachings were inspired from those of Saint Anthony, one of the fathers of the desert.
Nearly half of the 80 million Ethiopians are Christians. They consider that their church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, is the closest to original Christianity.