Monday, March 28, 2011

Of Gods and Men

Of Gods and Men

It is a rare occurrence to come across a film that is like watching a prayer unfold. “Of Gods and Men” is that film and a wonderful choice for Lenten viewing.

The true story is about 8 French monks living in a monastery in an African country in the 1990’s. They are integrated into the impoverished Moslem community, serving their neighbors through a clinic and sharing their celebrations. They live an impoverished prayerful life, chanting, meditating, gardening, even selling their honey at the local market.

Then fundamentalist terrorists, at war with the government, change everything - foreigners are murdered; violence strikes. And fear takes over the life of the villagers and the monastery. The monks struggle with the decision - to stay or to leave. Their fear is palpable, the acting is that superb.

Finally after each one’s soul searching, the monks unanimously decide to stay. This is their home. They do not seek martyrdom; they take precautions. But … I will not reveal the ending because I strongly urge you to see this film.

What a tremendous lesson in faith! I really connected with all these men, each strong and weak in his own way. The stark landscape, psalms and chanting add to the artistry of this film. Most of all the facial expressions as the monks agonize over their situation - you feel the fear, the faith, the joy.

A powerful and moving story of faith and Christian living. I recommend it, especially for Lent.

PS You can google the website. Sorry, still don’t know how to do links.