Critic Reviews



Based on 20 critic reviews provided by
The silence captured in this documentary -- a meditative look at life in the Carthusian monastery of the Grande Chartreuse in the French Alps -- may be the most eloquent you'll ever hear.
One of the transporting film experiences of this or any other year.
Portland Oregonian
You might not be able to picture yourself in such a life, but you'll be glad that it persists.
This beautiful, unfolding film is an antidote to the high-velocity, maximum-volume world most of us find ourselves immersed in, offering a glimpse into a rigorously spiritual alternative. Its calmness, its reflection, is full of allure.
Chicago Tribune
A film of great spiritual intensity and haunting minimalism that enlarges your concepts of movies and of life. Like the monks of the Carthusian order, it distills something intoxicating through a style that's pure and rigorous.
Miami Herald
Groening doesn't judge the monks' actions, nor does he tell us much about their reasons for choosing such a life. Yet the film brings us into their lives not as an observer but almost as a fellow hermit, making you realize how hard -- or easy -- it would be to commit yourself to such a life.
Groning's approach gives the viewer a rare chance to really listen to what water sounds like when it drips from a tin bowl, or the watch what patterns raindrops make when they fall on a shallow puddle -- purely sensual, cinematic experiences. In such moments we sense the point of view of a patient, sensitive filmmaker.
The overwhelming silence is broken mainly by chanting and the ringing of the monastery bells. Call it life in the slow, slow, slow lane.
The movie has a hushed sensual resonance, but it turns faith into an endurance test.
At once eerie, picaresque, evocative, and utterly alien to the reality most viewers inhabit, Into Great Silence is a daring and breathtakingly constructed documentary dream. So much so that the more restless among us may find themselves nodding off.

More Critic Reviews

See all external reviews for Into Great Silence (2005) »

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Reviews | User Ratings | External Reviews | Message Board