Des hommes et des dieux (Of Gods and Men)

Poster for Des hommes et des dieux (Of Gods and Men)

Winter 2011 Features series

Sunday, April 17, 2011 at 4:00pm
Sunday, April 17, 2011 at 7:00pm

Acadia Cinema's Al Whittle Theatre
450 Main Street, Wolfville, NS

Directed by Xavier Beauvois

Screenplay by Etienne Comar, Xavier Beauvois

Starring Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale and Olivier Rabourdin

Rated NR · 2h 2m
French, Arabic

View trailer

Des hommes et des dieux (Of Gods and Men)

“Loosely based on the Tibhirine tragedy, this historic drama explores the last few months in the life of this small community of Christian monks in a “Muslim land”. The film is more interested in capturing the spirit of the events and what was at stake in the community than in recounting the exact details of a historic reality.

“The story begins several weeks before the terrorists issued an ultimatum ordering all foreigners to leave the country. An armed terrorist group even broke into the monastery on Christmas Eve.

“The monks’ dilemma, dormant until that point, is now clear: stay or leave? The decision must be made as a group. But for them, the choice of going or staying, despite the threats, is laden with consequences. When they refuse military protection, the government asks them to return to France.

“Each monk will make his decision by assessing the human, political and religious stakes and by plumbing the depths of his soul and conscience. This dramatic tension accompanies the practical and mystical daily life of the community: their deep ties to the villagers and the spirit of peace and charity with which they try to counter the violence eating away at the country.

Of Gods and Men bears witness to the reality of the monks’ commitment and the strength of the message of peace they wish to share by staying among their Muslim brothers: the possibility of a fraternal and spiritual common ground between Christianity and Islam.

“The monks call the army “the brothers of the plain” and the terrorists “the brothers of the mountain.” Far from naïve, they were aware they were walking a fine line between two sides with ambiguous positions. Xavier Beauvois’ film adopts the point of view of the monks and the rhythm of life in a Cistercian monastery.” Etienne Comar (screenwriter)

For those interested in the film’s music (Monastic Songs: Choir of men, Heart of God), there are details in the films Press Kit on p.3.