Finally got to watch this movie last night on Blu-Ray via Netflix.
This is a French movie based on a true story of a monastery in Algiers and the men of the monastery and their working with the local Muslim village. This movie is based on John Kiser’s prize winning book, The Monks of Tibhirine: Faith, Love and Terror in Algeria ( St Martin’s Press)
I had read great reviews of this movie and was not disappointed in any way. Just pitch perfect – maybe the best movie addressing Catholic themes ever. The pace of the story in not forced and it gradually unfolds as you see the day to day life of the monks and their interactions in caring for the local folks. Ora et Labora (Pray and Work) has never been illustrated this well outside of the documentary “Into Great Silence.”
The intrusion of Radical Islam into their lives is what sets the counterbalance to their lives. Their silence is interrupted by the gong of violence. There are so many wonderful scenes that illustrate this as first a disquiet is found in the monastery which is later replaced by the Peace of Christ. One scene which is an obvious parallel to the Last Supper is just superb and not overdone. A story of martyrdom in the St. Thomas More vein since neither More or these monks looked for martyrdom, but just wanted to be faithful.
The acting was excellent and each monk was a character of his own – especially the elderly monk. This is just filming at its finest with all the art of the professional. If only Christian filmmaking could learn a lesson from this film and it should make many Christian filmmakers blush in comparison. When I see the phrase “From the producers of Fireproof” I cringe knowing that here comes another movie with good intentions, Christian worldview, and horrible art.
I do wonder how this movie ever got made and the force behind it. The movie was just profound on several levels and a great presentation of the Catholic faith that got so many things right and certainly induced a tear to two from me.
Review from Decentfilms.com
Thanks for the review! Sounds very good. I’ve put it at the top of my Netflix queue.
I had to wonder the same thing..who was behind this. It was so spot on re: the Faith & so well done artistically, it was a very unusual combination. I esp remember the ‘last supper’ scene. Awesome.
Small typo above – “Into Great Silence,” not “Into the Silence.” I haven’t seen “Of Gods and Men” yet, but if it can be compared to what is one of my all-time favorite films, I will certainly have to put it on the list!
I also watched this movie last night. It was a marvel. It was simple and beautiful and could be anywhere/anytime but for the technology to remind one.
I haven’t seen this yet, but fully intend to — it sounds compelling.
(By the way, I think the title should be apostrophe-free. 🙂 Just FYI!)
I know a movie is good when I ponder elements for days following. I love the portrayal of the monks, their living faith balanced with realistic human condition. This film is worthy of additional viewings, each with new eyes.