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Des hommes et des dieux (Of Gods and Men) (Bilingual)

Lambert Wilson , Michael Lonsdale , Xavier Beauvois    DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 34.95
Price: CDN$ 31.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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The monks at the Trappist monastery in Algeria seem almost to exist outside of time, so it may be a while before we recognize the 1990s as the setting for Of Gods and Men. And old traditions cannot escape new warfare in this stirring movie, based on a true story that happened at a remote enclave of peaceful, studious priests. These Christian monks minister to the largely Muslim (and very poor) villagers in their vicinity, a balance that is threatened by Algeria's Civil War. When nearby radical-Islamist insurgents begin killing foreigners, the monks must face a choice. Will they flee to safety--a perfectly rational and understandable decision that will leave the villagers without their only source of health care--or will they stay on, secure in their spiritual calling despite the possibility of abduction or murder? Director Xavier Beauvois makes an absorbing film from this question, and it's not at all difficult to understand why it became an unexpected box-office smash in France (and ended up winning the Cesar award for best film of 2010). The film is beautifully cast, and sometimes Beauvois simply trains his camera on the lined, weathered faces of his priests, as though allowing those lines to tell the story. Heading the cast is Lambert Wilson (of Matrix fame), who leads his men with an almost regal bearing, and veteran actor Michael Lonsdale, who quietly inhabits the role of the physician in the group. The film takes time out for quiet contemplation, as though understanding that the priests' suspenseful situation is only half the story. The wordless climax, which allows the men to be animated by the earthly pleasures of wine and Tchaikovsky, is something of a spiritual journey of acceptance all on its own. It's a moment you'll find very difficult to forget. --Robert Horton

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a moral dilemma played out in real life Dec 12 2011
By cinesue
Based on a true event in Algeria in the mid nineties, we see the interruption of everyday life of nine monks who live a quiet, contemplative life in a secluded mountain village of mostly Muslims. The monks help the villagers with medical aid and everyone interacts peacefully, even joining each other in interfaith celebrations.
However, government forces and local Muslim terrorists interfere with the peaceful co-existence.
As viewers we get to see the intensely personal struggle each monk goes through to decide whether to leave or to remain in the face of impending doom. The tense moments are interspersed with scenes of quiet religiousity as the monks perform their daily rituals.
A tense and realistic look at a real-life event.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a masterpiece of a film -- AWESOME! May 29 2011
By Hans G. Schulte-albert TOP 500 REVIEWER
I heard about this film in Catholic Insight. Then I ordered a copy from the UK.. on Ebay. Cost me $24. I would have bought it here if I had the chance.
The dialogue is fantastic, and it's one of those films that is rather sad, in some ways -- but beautifully filmed and very well acted. I am part German, part Americanski and totally Canadian EH!! -- but I genuinely liked it. I would recommend it to all my friends. It's inspiring and thoughtful. It's nice to see a film that doesn't put down our priests.
The priesthood is a great challenge as a vocation(NOT just a 'job'). The few that misbehave make the headlines. Here are some Trappists who really gave their lives to the service of a little village in Algiers and were ultimately killed by terrorists. I like it too - because it doesn't target Islam, but the terrorists as the bad guys. It's the right perspective too.
Here are some men who gave their lives for their concern for the poor - the downtrodden. They lived their lives heroically and died in a noble manner.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent June 3 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It shows the difficulty of life/death choices with which I identified because of previous missionary experiences. It also gives incite into a Religious Community
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5.0 out of 5 stars Understatedly brilliant May 23 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Beauvois' portrayal of a Trappist monk community in the Atlas mountains of Algeria is strikingly simple in setting and style, and for that reason is so powerful.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing disc version. Feb. 6 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this as a movie in a movie theatre. I thought it was one of the best movies I had ever seen, the story of a group of monks, very human beings, facing a life or death decision. I wanted to see it again. This DVD did not come up to my expectations. Maybe seeing it on a small screen took away some of the atmosphere of the story's setting. Maybe the movie has been trimmed to fit the TV screen. I was very disappointed in viewing this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars film Feb. 6 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Je l'ai offert a une amie . Le film est très bon mais il y a des longueurs . Mon amie en est très satisfaite puisque c'est le film qu'elle désirait.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Of Gods and Men Jan. 31 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A picture of charity and daily giving oneself for others. It also presents the reality of human frailty, fear in the face of certain hostility and finally, acceptance of and submission to death itself at the hands of brutal and unforgiving forces. A very moving and inspiring portrayal of good and evil.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Histoire intéressante
Une histoire qui vous retient jusqu'à la fin mais qui n'est certainement pas susceptible de faire surgir en vous un grand amour pour les islamistes.
Published 23 months ago by Pierre Roy
5.0 out of 5 stars Men of Few Words But Deep Convictions
Living in a religious community, Trappist monks are renowned for exercising a vow of silence on any matters that do not relate to their practical existence. Read more
Published on Sept. 22 2012 by Ian Gordon Malcomson
5.0 out of 5 stars Of Gods and Men
Very powerful reflection on the impact of the increasing violence of the world and how this small community choose how to face it. Read more
Published on Aug. 27 2012 by smc
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving true Story of the Monks who stood by their Flock.
This moving drama is based on the true events that took place in 1996, when seven French Trappist monks from the monastery of Tibhirine, Algeria were kidnapped from their... Read more
Published on March 12 2012 by Tommy Dooley
1.0 out of 5 stars ridicule
Ce film était un des plus platte que j'ai jamais vue, je n'ai pas aimer cette histoire, je ne le recommande pas a personne. c'était pour moi un mauvais choix. Read more
Published on Dec 23 2011 by Roger Brideau
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, but powerful and important
I seem to fall between the two camps of critical reaction. The majority who feel this is a classic, great film,
or the sizable minority who call the film boring, historically... Read more
Published on Dec 17 2011 by K. Gordon
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Though Plodding
Based on a true story, this tale is intriguing, yet in need of a subtle editorial trimming. Perhaps half an hour or so. Read more
Published on July 18 2011 by S.H.
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