Of Gods and Men (15)
This film is based on a real incident which happened during the Algerian civil war in 1996 when Cistercian monks and their community in the Atlas mountains were living under threat from an Islamic terrorist group.
The film starts by following the lives of a small group of trappist monks living peacefully and harmoniously amongst their Muslim neighbours. We see them following their daily routine of prayer, worship, singing, tending their crops, their bees and helping the community with medical treatment when called on. Gradually we get to know the little group as individuals.
As the war comes closer and frightening incidents occur, they come under increasing pressure to leave – to return to France – and are offered protection by the Algerian military (anti-Islamicist) government. The brothers are forced to examine their lives and their faith, their relationships to each other, the community and to God and whether they should stay.
This is a beautifully-acted ensemble piece which is not afraid to ask big questions about the purpose of life and the relationship of people to each other and their gods.
Cast: Etienne Comar, Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale, Philippe Laudenbach
Xavier Beauvois | France | 2010 | 122 minutes | 15
Weighted vote 89.6%