Georges and Anne are in their eighties. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has an attack. The couple's bond of love is severely tested.
A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.
In 1996, in Algeria, eight French monks of The Monastery Notre-Dame de l'Atlas of Tibhirine have a simple life serving the poor community that was raised around the monastery. During the Algerian Civil War, they are threatened by terrorist but they decide to stay in the country and not return to France. One night, they extremists break in the monastery and abduct seven monks. A couple of months later, they are found dead in controversial circumstances. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The official French submission for the Foreign Language Film Award at the 83rd Academy Awards. See more »
Should it ever befall me, and it could happen today, to be a victim of the terrorism swallowing up all foreigners here, I would like my community, my church, my family, to remember that my life was given to God and to this country. That the Unique Master of all life was no stranger to this brutal departure. And that my death is the same as so many other violent ones, consigned to the apathy of oblivion. I've lived enough to know, I am complicit in the evil that, alas, prevails over ...
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Of Gods and Men (2010) Des hommes et des dieux (original title) directed by Xavier Beauvois, is a powerful drama about good, deeply religious men
trying to live a truly caring, peaceful life under difficult circumstances.
A small group of French monks have lived in a monastery in Algeria for many years. They are clearly different in a cultural sense from the surrounding community. However, their simple life and acts of charity are welcomed and accepted by the Muslims in the adjacent village.
The plot revolves around the threat of death from militants in the region. The Algerian revolution has succeeded in forcing out the French colonial forces. The Algerian government and army officials want the monks to leave and return to France for reasons of safety. The monastery is seen as a remnant of colonialism, and is therefore the target of nationalistic and religious violence. The problem revolves around the questions, "Will the monks stay?" and "What will happen if they do?"
Lambert Wilson plays Christian, the elected leader of the monks. He does an outstanding job of portraying a man who could have succeeded as a leader in almost any undertaking. However, he has chosen monastic life, and now his leadership has become a matter of life and death.
Veteran French actor Michael Lonsdale plays Luc, an elderly physician who can barely walk, but can still heal. The acting is uniformly excellent. In fact, the acting was so good that my wife and I had to remind ourselves that this is a movie, and these men are actors,not monks.
The music, mostly chants sung daily by the monks, was superb.
This is a very powerful film. We saw it at the excellent Little Theatre in Rochester, NY. If you can't see it in a theater, the movie should work almost as well on DVD.
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