Archive of films Of Gods and Men / Des hommes et des dieux
2010, 120 min
Section: Open Eyes
A group of French monks helps the local inhabitants of their North African home regardless of their divergent beliefs. But violence in the region brings misgivings and dissension even into their tranquil monastic life. This meditative and disturbing movie took the Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes festival.
Eight monks of the same order, but differing in ages and ideas, have found repose and fulfillment in a small Christian community in North Africa. The monks’ quiet lives are disturbed by a massacre perpetrated by local Islamic fundamentalists. After refusing army protection, the monks must confront the problem of how to protect themselves from the continuing threat, but they must also face the realization that "loving one another” isn’t a convincing argument for all believers. The film takes up universal values that, regardless of the god we believe in, cannot be repudiated. And it demonstrates that resigning oneself to one’s faith does not bring automatic answers nor the quiescence one expects of them. The movie strives to capture life in the monastery without idealizing "God’s servants,” and it successfully questions assumptions about the mob mentality of believers. The work, which poses religious questions but is also universally spiritual, was based on real events that the director conceals until the very end, thereby strengthening the impact of his already powerful film.
About the director
Xavier Beauvois (b. 1967, Auchel, France) is a French actor, screenwriter, and director. His film Don’t Forget You’re Going to Die (N’oublie pas que tu vas mourir, 1995) took the Prix Jean Vigo along with the Cannes festival’s Jury Prize. His generic diversity was confirmed by the unconventional crime drama The Young Lieutenant (Le petit lieutenant, 2005), with a Best Actress César going to Nathalie Baye for her performance in the film. In addition to his own directorial efforts, Beauvois has also worked as assistant to Manoel de Oliveira and André Téchiné, and acted in the latter’s film The Witnesses (Les témoins, 2007). He had a significant role in Benoît Jacquot’s Villa Amalia, which competed at KVIFF 2009. Of Gods and Men was presented in the main competition at Cannes, winning the Grand Prix.
About the film
|Screenplay:||Etienne Comar, Xavier Beauvois|
|Dir. of Photography:||Caroline Champetier|
|Producer:||Etienne Comar, Pascal Caucheteux|
|Production:||Why Not Productions, Armada Films|
|Cast:||Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale, Olivier Rabourdin, Philippe Laudenbach, Jacques Herlin, Loïc Pichon|