OF GODS AND MEN

Xavier Beauvois

Des hommes et des dieux

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Winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes this year, Xavier Beauvois’ powerful and moving film is a fictionalised account of the true-life kidnap and murder of a group of French Cistercian monks by Islamic fundamentalists in Algeria in 1996, around which there remains some mystery. Remaining neutral in an increasingly violent conflict between government and fundamentalists, the monks tend to their land and the needs of the local community. In increasing danger with the fundamentalists, but refusing government protection, the film focuses more on the monks’ reactions to being threatened than on what’s threatening them, on the daily routines within the monastery rather than the external world. In doing so, it becomes a meditation on the differing forms of faith and one’s commitment to, and manifestation of, one’s beliefs.

France • 2010 • 122 minutes

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