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Of Gods and Men


  1. Directed by: Xavier Beauvois
  2. Produced by: Martine Cassinelli
    Pascal Caucheteux
    Etienne Comar
    Jean-David Lefebvre
    Frantz Richard
    Grégoire Sorlat
  3. Written by: Xavier Beauvois
    Etienne Comar
  4. Music by: Mike Kourtzer
  5. Cinematography by: Caroline Champetier
  6. Editing by: Marie-Julie Maille
  7. Release Date: 2010
  8. Running Time: 122
  9. Language: French, Arabic

Clips

  1. A&F Discussion Thread
  2. IMDb.com
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Netflix

Can Christians and Muslims coexist in peace today? Xavier Beauvois’ sublime fact-based drama about seven French Trappist monks in northern Algeria in the 1990s during the Algerian Civil War explores the question without offering a definitive answer. Led by Dom Christian (Lambert Wilson), the monks have happy relations with the Sunni villagers who live in the monastery’s shadow. But Salafist militants pose a threat to both the villagers and the monks, and others are more dangerous still, raising a difficult question: Should the monks stay in Algeria or move somewhere safer?

Has any other dramatic feature so powerfully expressed the beauty and attractiveness of lived Christian faith, in its theological and liturgical richness and specificity as well as its distinctive praxis? It’s a remarkably positive portrait: life in community; service to others; love transcending tribal and religious barriers; a routine of liturgical, sacramental, and spiritual life; honest, humble work; willingness to lay down one’s life for one’s friends and for God. Incarnational and Eucharistic spirituality pervade, particularly in a stunning Christmas Eve sequence and the haunting climactic scene, diegetically scored to Swan Lake. It’s also a tribute to Christian’s appreciation of all that is best in Islam, although the dark side of Islam is also definitely present.

Veteran cinematographer Caroline Champetier takes in the grandeur of the landscape and the seemingly haphazard architecture of the village in lingering takes and tracking shots. Christian climbs a lightly wooded hill amid a flock of sheep, a good shepherd with sheep beyond his own flock. A gunman lying supine with his feet in the foreground visually echoes Mantegna’s Lamentation Over the Dead Christ, challenging us to see Jesus in a terrorist. And when Luc presses his cheek to a large wall painting of Christ, the monk’s head and the Savior’s side become a single image of spiritual intimacy, a cinematic icon, a window into heaven.

-- Steven D. Greydanus (Decent Films)


  1. Directed by: Xavier Beauvois
  2. Produced by: Martine Cassinelli
    Pascal Caucheteux
    Etienne Comar
    Jean-David Lefebvre
    Frantz Richard
    Grégoire Sorlat
  3. Written by: Xavier Beauvois
    Etienne Comar
  4. Music by: Mike Kourtzer
  5. Cinematography by: Caroline Champetier
  6. Editing by: Marie-Julie Maille
  7. Release Date: 2010
  8. Running Time: 122
  9. Language: French, Arabic

Clips

  1. A&F Discussion Thread
  2. IMDb.com
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Netflix

Can Christians and Muslims coexist in peace today? Xavier Beauvois’ sublime fact-based drama about seven French Trappist monks in northern Algeria in the 1990s during the Algerian Civil War explores the question without offering a definitive answer. Led by Dom Christian (Lambert Wilson), the monks have happy relations with the Sunni villagers who live in the monastery’s shadow. But Salafist militants pose a threat to both the villagers and the monks, and others are more dangerous still, raising a difficult question: Should the monks stay in Algeria or move somewhere safer?

Has any other dramatic feature so powerfully expressed the beauty and attractiveness of lived Christian faith, in its theological and liturgical richness and specificity as well as its distinctive praxis? It’s a remarkably positive portrait: life in community; service to others; love transcending tribal and religious barriers; a routine of liturgical, sacramental, and spiritual life; honest, humble work; willingness to lay down one’s life for one’s friends and for God. Incarnational and Eucharistic spirituality pervade, particularly in a stunning Christmas Eve sequence and the haunting climactic scene, diegetically scored to Swan Lake. It’s also a tribute to Christian’s appreciation of all that is best in Islam, although the dark side of Islam is also definitely present.

Veteran cinematographer Caroline Champetier takes in the grandeur of the landscape and the seemingly haphazard architecture of the village in lingering takes and tracking shots. Christian climbs a lightly wooded hill amid a flock of sheep, a good shepherd with sheep beyond his own flock. A gunman lying supine with his feet in the foreground visually echoes Mantegna’s Lamentation Over the Dead Christ, challenging us to see Jesus in a terrorist. And when Luc presses his cheek to a large wall painting of Christ, the monk’s head and the Savior’s side become a single image of spiritual intimacy, a cinematic icon, a window into heaven.

-- Steven D. Greydanus (Decent Films)

Can Christians and Muslims coexist in peace today? Xavier Beauvois’ sublime fact-based drama about seven French Trappist monks in northern Algeria in the 1990s during the Algerian Civil War explores the question without offering a definitive answer. Led by Dom Christian (Lambert Wilson), the monks have happy relations with the Sunni villagers who live in the monastery’s shadow. But Salafist militants pose a threat to both the villagers and the monks, and others are more dangerous still, raising a difficult question: Should the monks stay in Algeria or move somewhere safer?

Has any other dramatic feature so powerfully expressed the beauty and attractiveness of lived Christian faith, in its theological and liturgical richness and specificity as well as its distinctive praxis? It’s a remarkably positive portrait: life in community; service to others; love transcending tribal and religious barriers; a routine of liturgical, sacramental, and spiritual life; honest, humble work; willingness to lay down one’s life for one’s friends and for God. Incarnational and Eucharistic spirituality pervade, particularly in a stunning Christmas Eve sequence and the haunting climactic scene, diegetically scored to Swan Lake. It’s also a tribute to Christian’s appreciation of all that is best in Islam, although the dark side of Islam is also definitely present.

Veteran cinematographer Caroline Champetier takes in the grandeur of the landscape and the seemingly haphazard architecture of the village in lingering takes and tracking shots. Christian climbs a lightly wooded hill amid a flock of sheep, a good shepherd with sheep beyond his own flock. A gunman lying supine with his feet in the foreground visually echoes Mantegna’s Lamentation Over the Dead Christ, challenging us to see Jesus in a terrorist. And when Luc presses his cheek to a large wall painting of Christ, the monk’s head and the Savior’s side become a single image of spiritual intimacy, a cinematic icon, a window into heaven.

-- Steven D. Greydanus (Decent Films)


  1. Directed by: Xavier Beauvois
  2. Produced by: Martine Cassinelli
    Pascal Caucheteux
    Etienne Comar
    Jean-David Lefebvre
    Frantz Richard
    Grégoire Sorlat
  3. Written by: Xavier Beauvois
    Etienne Comar
  4. Music by: Mike Kourtzer
  5. Cinematography by: Caroline Champetier
  6. Editing by: Marie-Julie Maille
  7. Release Date: 2010
  8. Running Time: 122
  9. Language: French, Arabic

Clips

  1. A&F Discussion Thread
  2. IMDb.com
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Netflix
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