Mati, the worker on the middle of the hushed and absorbing documentary “A Nonetheless Small Voice,” experiences for responsibility at an ordinary-looking workplace. There are cubicles, curler chairs, a water cooler and flat lighting that the director, Luke Lorentzen, would by no means dishonor by gussying up with a lamp. These are the chaplains’ quarters at The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, and Mati and her colleagues are right here to consolation the dying and the households of the useless — to remodel this 1,134-bed establishment right into a sacred house. They’re Olympian empaths and they’re exhausted.
Unexpectedly — and astutely — Lorentzen emphasizes not the emotional assist these staff give, however the assist they should soldier on. Mati leans on her fellow residents and their supervisor, David; he, in flip, permits the digital camera into his counseling classes along with his personal adviser, the Rev. A. Meigs Ross, the place he admits that he now not has “the fuel within the tank.” Lorentzen retains the picture respectfully nonetheless whereas the chaplains vent their grievances in delicate, measured language. When the stress drives two to snap and interrupt one another, their reasonably raised voices are as stunning as a slap.
Right here, consolation isn’t present in any specific faith. The one unifying perception is in a centering breath. Mati, raised Hasidic, questions whether or not she believes in God in any respect. But, in a strong scene, she baptizes an toddler who died at beginning. Her persuasive phrases of consolation appear improvised. The holy water is in a Styrofoam cup. Someplace, a door slams. It’s human and messy — and it’s divine.
A Nonetheless Small Voice
Not rated. Working time: 1 hour 33 minutes. In theaters.