Slow portrayal of the last days of doomed men - Of Gods and Men (MA15+)
THIS film is based on the murder of seven Trappist monks in Algeria in 1996.
In an unnamed North African country, in the Atlas Mountains, nine monks quietly go about their business, chanting liturgy, working in the gardens, selling their honey in the local market, studying texts. The head of the monastery, Brother Christian (Wilson), not only studies Christian literature, he also immerses himself in the Koran.
The monks live peacefully with the neighbouring villagers. Brother Luc (Lonsdale) is a doctor and holds a daily clinic, giving away a pair of shoes to a mother and dispensing advice to a young woman about matters of the heart. They are invited to local celebrations.
The pattern of life is depicted in the minutiae of detail, slowly.
But there is unrest. A woman is stabbed for not wearing a veil; a group of Croatian workers is found slaughtered. The monks are aware their role in the country is tenuous, their presence potentially