Beautiful and slow scenes. Well filled slowness must be attained.

Beauty and internal dynamics.

Reduce text. Little, least as possible, words of conversation. These were not people who say a lot. Neither Sava nor Nemanja nor Nemanja’s companions.

Then again, make sure that the slowness and silence preserves the humor and the tension of conflicting wishes.

Short sentences from the anecdotes in the "Conferences" here too may serve as guidance.


Today we find it difficult to understand the extent to which existed among Serbs (and not only in them, but very often in the Middle Ages) a relationship with the ruler as the father. Strong community and unexpectedly great sadness when they die (which again passed quickly).

This is especially important to be able to understand Nemanja’s companions who do not leave him at the Holy Mountain.

As if, they came to be buried with their master. Deep attachment. Different and much more organic kind of community than it is today, we find it hard to even imagine its strength.


Already in the process of writing the script, think about how structural analysis of the icon may be used in cinematic form.

Visual associations are closer. For example, golden or dark blue sky. Earthy colours, of frescoes and icons. Landscape as from frescoes and icons. Organized, controlled colours. Relativisation of the perspective. Enlightened figures.

As for the story - maybe the pathway is offered by the dynamic thumbnails from the icons of Lives of Saints, the hagiographies.

Does the story need to be organized by tableaus, as hagiographic images that surround the main icon. Clearly separate scenes (e.g. with fade-outs in between). Hagiographic episodes.

What would the eschatological approach entail?

Although we make the characters appear realistic, they are already illuminated from the end of the road, the Eschaton. Although entirely human with certain deficiencies, observed even with a dose of humor, they are also already shone upon by holiness that comes to them from the future.






The revered “young old man”, in a great lift of the struggle for the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

He brings worlds together. Young, but already treads with one foot “out there”.

Little miracles around him. Such an oddity needs to return to the world. The task is not and should not be easy.

The concrete, sober father, the Ruler, must believe with all his heart and to engage in a “crazy” twist and move “out there” to his son, the holy freak.

For Sava, the Holy Mountain is the intersection of the Kingdom of God and the world. Departure from Mount Athos to him would be the removal from the most pertinent thing. Sava’s gift of obedience receives a serious trial.

For Sava, the struggle for Serbia takes place on Mount Athos.

As his father approaches his death, Sava prepares him more and more to be the knight of the Kingdom of Heaven, which is over and above Serbia, and above the Orthodox Byzantine Empire.

Since the situation in Serbia is getting worse – they more and more need to pray for Serbia, for their brethren, for their people. They need to be all the holier, all of them together and each and every one of them for themselves. This is the real race.

When he takes his father and his father’s companions on an excursion around Mount Athos – this is actually winning over of the warriors of light. The Land of Miracles. Unusual phenomena and events, uncanny and wonderful people.

Learning from his father about Serbia and the Serbs, Sava teaches his father about the skills of the Kingdom of Heaven. Who will be a better teacher, and a better student. Sometimes,  traces of human weaknesses, such as obstinence, appear in their communication.

When the father dies, the legacy is to intensify prayer and feat. Terrible news from Serbia, cries, woes, calls and supplications. To all they respond with tears and prayers until...

One way or another, as novices, or monks, Nemanja and his companions enter the fray with their own lusts. Sava as a spiritual teacher – a coach of a sort. Or maybe it is one of the elders of Mount Athos, who is close to Sava and whom Sava brought to his Serbs as their teacher?

What we see in the film of this battle, training, spiritual advancement?

Gluttony – a constant theme. Persistently and slowly. Perhaps use the famous cluster of grapes from a monastic story (they bring a nice bunch of grapes to a sick old monk, he, arguing that he is not hungry, gives it to the youngest monk, he finds an excuse and gives him to his teacher, and so the grapes go through the entire brotherhood of the monastery and returns to the old man) to appear as a trial. So as for it to pass the whole crew and return to Sava or Nemanja. This may happen in an already advanced stage of building of Hilandar.

During some major physical exertion, hunger and thirst, there is a ready offer of bread, wine, figs…

Each may choose his own extent of abstinence, his own measure of feat.

Lechery - at the level of fantasy. Ungracious to display in this type of film. Then again, portrayal of remembrance and desire, among the old warriors, may be touching. Their pensive jagged faces. They test each other whether they are indeed so free from lust. They reminisce, remind each other, talk, savour ...

Greed – Radoslav, who not even on Mount Athos wants to give up his precious funeral clothing. As far as training is concerned – exercise of renunciation, abandonment. In fact, the struggle with the love of money cannot be exercised but in certain situations one should recognize a passion in oneself. And to fight against it by sacrifice. Nemanja fights against this sin by giving generous gits to the monks of the Holy Mountain. By merciful deeds otherwise.

Wrath – most usable. Sava, the teacher, may make deliberate provocations at this point. In the process of training completely free of sentimentalism. Exactly in this lack of sentimentalism, yet presence of love, Sava may be seen as a modern character. Among them are chaotic relations, everyday problems. Nemanja and his wrath... He has been the ruler for years after all and has had to be tough. Direct provocations of the spiritual master. Perhaps even provoking of Nemanja himself. Until we understand the method, it may strike us confusing.

Sadness – here there can be great and cruel provocation. Causing grief in people. Tinkering with lives, memories, meaning, lost values, even with nostalgia. Perhaps nostalgia should be first to go.

Sloth – with forced sadness. The systematic demantling of sense. Sava or the old man whom he chose and joined with the clique, takes on the thankless role of agent provocateur. He makes everything pointless to them. He leaves them the greatest freedom exactly then, so that they are able to understand that in obedience precisely primarily lies the victory over sloth.

Pride - praised by teacher, very frequently? So that they themselves may realize that they can fall into that trap.



He has done his bit. He needs to die becomingly and only do one more task - Sava must be returned to Serbia so that he may be a constantly present spiritual authority and peacekeeping referee to his brothers. The fight for Serbia must end in Serbia.

Hilandar is a compromise with his son. A way to tie him tighter to Serbia.

A wondrous stranger who gives the idea of building a monastery is truly a wondrous stranger, an ascetic.

Simeon is approaching death, but speaks more and more about Serbia. Problems are growing in Serbia. There is an emergent need for Sava’s presence in Serbia. He also needs to be prepared for the mission that awaits him in Serbia. Simeon teaches Sava about Serbia and Serbs.

Sava’s mother too remained in Serbia. She too is waiting for him.

When his mother, Anastasia, dies, it becomes even more perilous in Serbia, the brothers are drawing further apart. The conflict is all the more certain. Disaster is creeping ing. Once the father dies, everything will flare up.


At the beginning of autumn, Nemanja is filled with melancholy. Sava thinks this is because of the parallels between human life and autumn, but it is becomes of military campaigns in the autumn. Always in the fall, emperors and kings proceeded against Serbia, when the trees begin to lose their leaves.

“When there is no woods to hide the Serbs."


Serbia needs Sava and Nemanja. The tension of anticipation must also be depicted.

Maybe it is enough that news arrive to Mount Athos.

At the end – Serbia. A devastated village where a column of people arrives from the Holy Mountain. The horsemen as vanguards thundering to notify Stefan on the arrival of the Athonians. And then, plain, bewildered people fall to their knees to welcome the Father. The elderly, women, children. All in tears.

Serbia has not yet won over full independence when Nemanja leaves power to Stefan.

The Byzantine Emperor Manuel Komnenos (1143 - 1180) came to power over the usual lineage. Emperor John Komnenos II at the end of his life appointed Manuel as the successor, although he was the youngest son. His words spoken at that occasion are reminiscent of Nemanja’s words spoken at the handing over of Nemanja’s power.


In Bulgaria, in 1196 and 1197, two emperor-regents were murdered while  the third youngest – Kaloyan – was enthroned. A disturbing example for Nemanja’s thoughts.

In Vatopedi, among other things, they had built the polats - rooms for the living of monasticized nobles belonging to Simeon’s escort.

It is often forgotten that Simeon comes with a large entourage. Large entourage consisting of scribes, illuminators, etc. They carry stationery supplies with them, parchments, inks, paints.



A trained falcon. Has anyone brought a falcon? For example, the Duke Hranislav. He cannot bear to be separated from his pet. At the beginning, or even longer? The falcon becomes present as an embodied passion. Vanity, or maybe something else...

The Athonian monks are unhappy with the encroachment. What is a predator doing in the monastery?

Finally Hranislav must let the hawk . Scene release passions simultaneously . Emotional . Magnificent flying falcon and disappearing from sight . Before that has severely to force Hranislav because the hawk kept returning Lord.


Finally, Hranislav must let the falcon go. The scene of the release from passion is displayed simultaneously . Emotional. A magnificent flying falcon then disappears from sight. Before that, Hranislav has to severely force him away because the hawk keeps returning to his master.


Overemphasis of emotions looking from the  present perspective. Merriness to self-oblivion, anger, vigor of a battle, strong cries, sobbing and pulling of hair, scratching, woeing at one’s death.


Dreams and the importance of dreams. Much greater than today. The monks do not look at it favorably, but it is highly present.

True, Nemanja companions have pectoral crosses, icons made of lead and even vials with holy myrhh around their neck, but they appear as foreign entities at the Holy Mountain.

Several wear items of magic with them too. One keeps a horse's tooth with which to bury him. Deer antlers in the luggage of one of the captains.

Food in the monastery: bread, lentils, fish, greens, fruits, wine, oil

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays fasting with soaked lentils, and some fruit, water with caraway.

It is not allowed to take food in the cell.

Horking, hacking and spitting on the ground usual but forbidden in the church.

Black man – meaning black-robe-wearer.

Athonite ascetics are people full of life, with special mental powers and physical strength. To the surprise of Nemanja and his closest companions.

In the meantime, death of an on old monk of Vatopedi. An intriguing posthumous smile. From the other side.

The hour of death is near. Preparations, gathering of monks from the nearby monasterues. Everybody follows Nemanja’s dying. Stage by stage.


Glorification. Change of light. Nemanja’s sightings from the other side. Witnesses filled with awe. Exciting road to death  How will it all end everybody is wondering. They do not leave the dying man’s side, monitoring the even.

Victory! Departure in light.

What Sava gave to Nemanja and what Nemanja gave to Sava? It should appear that both of them are stubborn, too independent, and later we see that they have almost taken everything best from each other.

With his dead father, Sava goes back to Serbia to continue his work, and his father came to Mount Athos to achieve Sava’s cause. An ascetic, saintly cause.

Not for a second do we hear the consent of one or the other for what the other preaches , but both of them actually do the other’s bidding.

Based on the old records, a lovable and so typical a Serbian character:

A Serb who boasts before the Byzantines, and who in very cold weather often travels scantily clad and bareheaded to show his toughness. The heroics ended in such a way that he got such a severe sore throat that he had to continue the journey wrapped with more clothes and blankets more than anyone else in the party.

A Serb with the delegation. Arrogant conduct. At the guesthouse of the Byzantine farmers, he nags and asks for everything his heart desires. Coarsely and roughly. After they respond roughly too, he picks a fight fight with them. He grabs them by the head, punches them with his fists but gets hit back too. After that, he calms down and he draws in his horns. He is humble and only asks to have a place to sit and rest.

Nemanja’s pectoral cross in which is embedded a piece of the Holy Cross. He kept it after the abdication and took it with him to Mount Athos, to be with him until his demise. He initially intended to be buried with it. Sava writes how the cross strengthened his father in prayer.

By Abbot Metodiues, who during construction of Hilandar went to Serbia to get Stefan’s money, Simeon sends the cross to his son Stefan sometime after construction of Hilandar. A solemn homecoming celebration of the cross in Serbia.

The first mention of this cross at the Battle of Pantin – Nemanja’s conflict with his brothers, the death of Tihomir. 




On 8 October 1197, Nemanja and his entourage leaves for Mount Athos

On 2 November of the same year, he arrives in Vatopedi

In early December, he sets ou on a tour around the Holy Mountain


Bela III dies in 1196. Until then, Hungary in peace with Serbia and together against Byzantium.

At that time in 1197, a civil war brok out in Hungary. Andrew with his mercenary Crusaders against his brother - King Emeric.


Kaloyan rules in Bulgaria from 1197

Henry VI (in 1194 he conquered Sicily and puts pressure on Byzantium, he seeks payment of tolls everywhere from Durres to Thessalonica). In The Crusade, (they overtook Sidon and Beirut) he suddenly dies of malaria in Messina on 28 September 1197. It is thought that he was poisoned. Byzantium a little relieved. The Germans are coming back home soon because of the change of emperor, to secure their positions.

Monastery Hilandar granted to be part of Vatopedi early in 1198. Sava in Constantinople received an approval for this from Alexios III Angelos.

In 1198 Stefan Vladislav is born



8 January 1198, Pope Celestine III dies and is inherited by Pope Innocent III

In 1198, Pope crowns Emperor Otto IV


As patrons of Hilandar, Sava and Nemanja elect capable monk Methodius, as the hegumenios of the Monastery. Probably in April or May, Simeon sends him to meet Stefan




The administration of Mount Athos then asked the Emperor to let the monastery in the full possession of Serbian monks. To this supplication, the Emperor responded by issuing another chrysobull (charter) of June 1198. The monastery was given possessions (a total of nine villages in Serbia) by the Emperor Alexios III.

In 1198, The conflict in Hum between Miroslav’s heirs Andrew and Peter. Hungarian Andrew invited by Petar to rule Hum. Andrew signs cooperation agreement with Vukan (ruler of Zeta ) 1198.

Vukan denounces Ban Kulin to Pope as a heretic and offers cooperation, expects a crown.




In July 1198 Simeon Nemanja moves to the Hilandar Monastery





Probably in September or October of 1198, Methodius goes back to Serbia and carries Nemanja’s cross (Enkolpion). At that time the founding charter Hilandar as well.





13 February 1199, death of the former Grand Župan of Raška, Stefan Nemanja, monastic name Simeon, in his endowment. At that time, he was 86 years old.





It is known that during 1199 or 1200 Stefan gave 14 villages to Hilandar. These villages were located in Serbia

1199. Karyes Typicon made in the hermitage which Sava had bought and arranged in Karyes.


Hilandar Typicon, written in the same year (1199), compiled and translated as an adaptation of the introductory part of the Greek Evergetis Typicon from Constantinople.



The Pope sent two emissaries (1199). The Congress of Zeta was supposed to strengthen the Catholic Church in the countries that are under Vukan’s control.



In mid-1200, a bishop ordained Jerisos first as deacon and then as priest.




Vukan’s appeals to the Pope about heresy in Bosnia did not cease until finally in 1200 Rome notifies the Hungarian King Emeric of heretics in Bosnia and requires from them that they be annihilated. However, the pope advises Emeric first try to win them over peacefully.





Emerik called out Kulin ban to responsibility (1201) and he was able to defend himself


Evdokia thrown out around 1201 and returned to Constantinople, where her father was the emperor at the time. Stefan banished Evdokia apparently due to mange, but historians have noted that both of them were objected to infidelity in marriage. Evdokija did not immediately go to Byzantium, but first headed by Vukan who greeted her warmly, condemned Stefan's behaviour, and then sent her to, from which she went to Constantinople.





Hungarian troops broke into Serbia (spring of 1202), an active part was played by Vukan himself. Stefan was broken very quickly and soon fled. After the victory, Emeric allowed Vukan to take the title of the Grand Župan of Raška, however, the Hungarian king himself took the title of King of Serbia.


During 1202, preparations for the Fourth Crusade begun. Even though the spiritual instigator for this war is always said to be Pope Innocent III, in the background of the entire endeavour was the Venetian doge Enrico Dandolo.

In Karyean Hermitage Sava learns about the civil war in Serbia, waged by the older brother Vukan against his younger brother Stefan, having hijacked his throne, while the country is deserted because of the war, and there is a great famine among the people.


In 1202 the re-emergence of the Andrew rebellion. Emeric decides to undertake a desperate move. He simply crosses the river on a horse and enters the camp of Andrew’s army. The soldiers move to his side. They imprison Andrew.



By end of November 1202, the Crusaders fulfilled their side of the bargain with Venice and attacked Zadar, which fell very easily

Sometime between 1200 and 1204 Sava was ordained as Archimandrite in Thessaloniki.

During 1202 and 1203, the papal delegates remained in Bosnia, and Kulin welcomed them nicely and answered to their needs. In the very spring of 1203, by the river Bosna at Bilin polje, he convened a congress of Bosnian officials who then recognized the Roman church and promised that they would not veer into heresy.

Bulgarian King Kaloyan, using Emeric’a business with the war in Czech lands, dared to attack and capture Braničevo from the Hungarians. At the same time, he attacked Serbia too, invading Niš and carrying away a lot of people as slavery (1203) Stefan moves to counter attack.



On 24 June 1202, the fleet of the Crusaders comes beneath the Constantinople. On the road to Constantinople, they conquer both Dubrovnik and Durres who immediately recognize the new emperor. Galata was quickly lost, the Golden Horn fell quickly too following the whole of Constantinople, which was finally conquered on 17 July 1203. Emperor Alexios III fled, taking with him a vast amount of public money, while the Crusaders camped in before the walls of Constantinople, expecting to receive a handsome reward.


Stefan asked the Pope for a coronet (i.e. crown) so that he became king, and Serbia a kingdom. He first asked the crown from Pope Innocent III.


Andrew is imprisoned in the Tower of Kneginec in Varazdin, where he remained until the 1204, when Emeric dies.

While the battles were fought around Constantinople, the general confusion is taken advantage of by the Bulgarians and their ruler Kaloyan occupies almost the entire Byzantine West, including the cities of Prizren, Skopje, Ohrid and Ber. Stefan uses this to his advantage.


The Crusaders are camped before the city. Because they know that the new emperor will not want to pay to them what the killed in the revolt inside Constantinople former Emperor Alexius IV had promised, they invade and occupy Constantinople (April 13th 1204 ). The revenge was horryfing, for three days and three nights lasted the crusader pillage of the conquered city.



After the fall of Constantinople in 1204, Mount Athos came under the authority of Boniface, Marquis of Monferrato and the King of Thessaloniki, who began to impose his authority onto Athonian monasteries with support of the Crusaders. To this end, he built a castle, from where the monasteries were looted and where the monks were taken to be tortured.

Cardinal Leo crowned King Kaloyan of Bulgaria.


In 1204 (8 November) Cardinal Leo crowns Kaloyan as King of Bulgaria.

In the night of 12 April 1204, Alexius V in company of Evdokia and her mother Eufrosina Duca Camatera fled Constantinople which was then taken by the Crusaders and the Venitians.



In 1205,Stefan and Vukan, with mediation of their younger brother Sava, sign an agreement according to which Stefan is becomes the Grand Župan, and Vukan a Prince-with-Interest of “Southwestern Serbia.”


Even without this, Kaloyan was willing to attack the Latins and his incursion into Thrace was soon crowned with great success. At Adrianople, on 14 April 1205 he vanquishes the Latins, and the captures Emperor Baldwin.




Stefan (ill) calls Sava to return to Serbia.

The death of Boniface of Monferrat. He was killed in battle against the Bulgarians (1207)


At the beginning of 1206 (or 1207) Sava comes to Serbia with Nemanja’s relics. On 9 February, they arrive to Studenica and lay them in a tomb prepared in advance.