Under threat by fundamentalist terrorists, a group of Trappist monks stationed with an impoverished Algerian community must decide whether to leave or stay.

Director:

Xavier Beauvois

Writers:

Xavier Beauvois (adaptation), Etienne Comar (scenario)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 20 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lambert Wilson ... Christian
Michael Lonsdale ... Luc
Olivier Rabourdin ... Christophe
Philippe Laudenbach ... Célestin
Jacques Herlin ... Amédée
Loïc Pichon Loïc Pichon ... Jean-Pierre
Xavier Maly ... Michel
Jean-Marie Frin Jean-Marie Frin ... Paul
Abdelhafid Metalsi Abdelhafid Metalsi ... Nouredine
Sabrina Ouazani ... Rabbia
Abdellah Moundy Abdellah Moundy ... Omar (as Abdallah Moundy)
Olivier Perrier ... Bruno
Farid Larbi ... Ali Fayattia
Adel Bencherif ... Le terroriste
Benaïssa Ahaouari Benaïssa Ahaouari ... Sidi Larbi
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Storyline

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 terrorists but they decide to stay in the country and not return to France. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the face of terror, their greatest weapon was faith.

Genres:

Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a momentary scene of startling wartime violence, some disturbing images and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In researching the screenplay, director Xavier Beauvois spent six days living at the Tamie Abbey in Savoie. All the actors were required to do the same as well. See more »

Goofs

When Luc leans against the painting, his face and left hand touch it noticeably higher in the close-up than during the preceding shot. See more »

Quotes

Christian: [Voice-over] 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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Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.8 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Puisqu'il Est Avec Nous
Written by Didier Rimaud and Philippe Robert
(c) CNPL (DR)
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User Reviews

Very slow paced at times, but very well observed and acted
19 August 2013 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

The other day I watched the film Compliance, which tells a true story in the form of a drama. I didn't find much in the film and wondered why it added nothing to the events other than showing them. I mention this because the opposite is true with Of Gods and Men. Here we have a true story told but done in a way that adds to the characters, engages the viewer and has room for thought. The priests of the story struggle with whether or not to leave their monastery in Algeria once it becomes very dangerous due to the actions of fundamentalists in the region. This is the majority of the film in a nutshell and as such it is perhaps not a film that could stand a mass audience.

I don't say this in a condescending way, but just that the film is probably too slow for the casual viewer – not that others "won't get it" or any such nonsense as that. I liked the film but even for me there were times where it lingered too long or spent too long showing us certain aspects of life in the monastery. It did feel longer than 2 hours and I think this is mostly down to the fact that the whole film has a very slow pace and very gentle delivery. The upside of this is that it does have more emotional impact as a result – because the characters are clearer, we understand their minds and I enjoyed that I was able to see their struggle and also understand the reasons for their decisions because I had seen the role they played.

The film matches the slow pace with some beautiful shots; visually it is a very still film and it does feel at times that it is like a great painting, with the use of light and atmosphere. The performances are where the film delivers best though. Everyone is strong and seems to have understood their characters very well because they are convincing and engaging. The ballet music meal towards the end of the film is the best example but there are plenty of equally strong and expressive moments throughout.

It is a slow film and even though I liked it, I did still struggle with the glacial pace at times. It rewards and satisfies at the same time, but a few times you do need to stick with it while it unfolds slowly.


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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | Arabic

Release Date:

25 March 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Of Gods and Men See more »

Filming Locations:

Morocco See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

EUR4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$308,895, 27 February 2011

Gross USA:

$3,951,596

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$43,803,417
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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