Sunday, July 17, 2011

Of Gods and Men (Des hommes et des dieux) (2010)

Director: Xavier Beauvois. Cast: Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale. 122 min. Rated R. France. Drama/History.

Based on the true story of eight French monks in 1996 Algeria, who refuse to leave their monastery in the light of overwhelming murderous threats by Islamic fundamentalists. The movie makes the wise decision of dedicating almost its entirety to one discussion: stay ... or leave? The debate climaxes in a beautiful scene at the end with the monks listening to Swan Lake in blissful silence. The screenplay tries to play it fair (philanthropist priests, imperialist French government; peaceful Muslim villagers, cutthroat Islamist terrorists). But let's face it - the message is one thing: Good Christians; bad Muslims.

PS: Read below, about another movie I coincidentally saw back-to-back with this one; different setting but exact same subject.

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