“In the Warmth of the Sun” – synopsis

In the year 1115 young Hildegard arrives at the abbey of St. Disibod in the Rhineland dreaming of becoming a physician. Were she a boy, she might attend the monastic school, but instead she must live in seclusion at the affiliated women’s convent. But her desire to heal is not so easily thwarted. By force of will and against fierce opposition from the head of the monks’ cloister, Hildegard secures an apprenticeship with the abbey infirmary. Then, as she struggles to hold on to her hard-fought position, she falls in love with a novice named Volmar. The attraction is strong, but her passion for healing in stronger, so Hildegard chooses holy vows over marriage. When the Mother Superior dies Hildegard succeeds her, but the growing persecution from the monks pushes her to start secret preparations for the convent’s independence from the abbey, even though it might put her in breach of the Benedictine Rule and separate her from Volmar. However, when one of the sisters betrays Hildegard’s trust the monks plot to block her move, and Hildegard must look for help outside the walls of St. Disibod. If she fails, she will be forever banned from working as a physician, and the convent will slide into obscurity under the monks’ increasingly brutal control.

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