Of Gods and Men is a Must See

by Rich Rubenstein on May 11, 2011 · 0 comments

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You’ve got to see Of Gods and Men, a remarkably moving, thought-provoking, and visually stunning movie about religion and violent politics. Based on the true story of eight French monks working in Algeria’s Atlas Mountains during the Islamist uprising of the 1990s, Xavier Beauvois’ film makes you feel like a member of that closely  bonded group, trying to discover through communal talk, prayer, singing, and meditation how to serve under conditions of extreme danger without either courting martyrdom or selling out the mission.

I can’t do the film justice in a few words, but it is full of unforgettable scenes, from Prior Christian’s (Lambert Wilson’s)  lecture on the Koran to a terrorist chief to the waves of collective emotion that sweep the brothers during a dinner accompanied by the score from “Swan Lake.” My only complaint about the movie is the title, which in French is “Of Men and Of Gods.”  The title should not have been changed to promote God to first place, since the movie’s Christology (passionately explicated in the prior’s Christmas sermon) strongly emphasizes the power of Jesus’ human frailty and human strength to inspire human imitation.

The movie should be out soon on Netflix.  Grab it! 

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