Gordon Quinn Release date1968 DirectorsGordon Quinn, Gerald Temaner CastSister Marie Arne, Sister Mary Campion Similar moviesUnstoppable (2013), Cousin Bobby (1992), The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2000), Marjoe (1972), Champions of Faith (2008)
Inquiring nuns are you happy
Inquiring Nuns is a 1968 Kartemquin Films production directed by Gordon Quinn and Gerald Temaner. The documentary film features Sisters Marie Arne and Mary Campion, two young Catholic nuns who visit a variety of Chicago locales to ask people the question, "Are you happy?" They meet a variety of individuals ranging from hippie musicians to intellectuals, whose responses are everything from the mundane to the spiritual. The film was directly influenced by Jean Rouch's Chronique d'un été, which Quinn and Temaner had watched at Doc Films while they were undergraduates at the University of Chicago.
Quinn and Temaner's fourth collaboration was produced for about $16,000 ($110,005 US in 2016) for Chicago's Catholic Adult Education Center which never suggested any changes or requested a single edit. Both Sisters Marie Arne and Mary Campion served at the St. Denis Parish in Chicago's Southwest Side at the time of the filming. They subsequently left the sisterhood within a few years after the film's release, the former eventually becoming a family counselor in the Chicago suburbs and the latter a school superintendent in Florida. One of the random people they encountered in the film was Stepin Fetchit who showed a few of his publicity shots and stated that he was happy.
An Official Selection of the 1969 Chicago International Film Festival, Inquiring Nuns features music by the then relatively unknown composer Philip Glass (Truman Show, Fog of War) who was paid $100 ($688 US in 2016) for earning his first film credit. Recently re-released on DVD, Entertainment Weekly graded Inquiring Nuns an 'A' and applauded the film's "reaffirmation of the virtue of conventional wisdom".