Movie I dig 008: Des Hommes et des Dieux (Of Gods and Men) (2010)

This movie is hands down, a top 3 movie for 2011 (so far) for me. The other two would be ‘Incendies‘ and ‘Biutiful’.

Des Hommes et des Dieux‘ is a story (based upon true events) about a group of Christian monks who are residing and working in and around their monastery in an Algerian town. They have been in this Muslim village for a long time and they are very much part of the town’s identity. They have been helping and supporting the locals ever since they arrived there. This is pretty much the setting when the movie commences. To this background a slowly growing but poisonous factor is added. The factor of radicalisation amongst Muslim-men in Algeria and the  growth and spreading fear of terror brought upon non-Muslims and less fundamental Muslims. After a serious incident involving a group of other foreigners amongst the monks’ acquaintances. The monks are beginning to question themselves and each other whether they should stay or leave. They fear their safety is not guaranteed.

I was quite taken aback by the believe and confidence in the goodness of people, by the monks, even when facts and events were pointing in the opposite direction. The acting by especially Lambert WilsonMichael Lonsdale and Olivier Rabourdin is brilliant! It really seems like they have been monks most of their lives.

Xavier Beauvois did an astonishing job on re-creating the circumstances of the time and the very real atmosphere of a monastery in a non-Christian country.  Perhaps, the sum of the scenery and the camera work is the best thing about this movie.

Definitely go and watch it.

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