This is a movie about Sahara missionary Charles De Foucauld whose youth was racy but who finally heard the call of the silence (title)that is to say the call of God .
Much to the credit of the movie,the writers do not lay stress on the hero's "wild existence ":he scandalized his military superiors by taking his lover with him when he'd sent to the Sahara and had to give up a career of arms.
Most of the time is given over to the edifying part of the man's life.He first heard the "call " in the desert and he pointed out to his compatriots that " Muslims believe in God,we just pretend we do").Then in a church a picture of Christ - Turin Shroud style- strengthened him in his vocation.The modern world which was quickly changing at the turn of the century ,the new inventions (cinema,cars ,telephone) ,the traffic on the streets ,all this seemed to scare him and he realized he did not share the same values as his former social class anymore.
He became a "marabout" ,which was a strange name for a Christian .He lived in the desert ,among the Touaregs (the director shows respect for them:they speak their own language ,not some "pidgin' French " like in many adventures movies.He was killed by rebels from Tripolitaine ,soon after (should we believe the writers) reading the gospel when Judas betrayed Jesus.
The movie was made on a subscription basis .The direction was not equal to the situation and the actors are not convincing enough.A macabre clock (that seems to come straight from Lang's "Metropolis")marks out the years .Foucauld died in 1916.
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