What’s on at the ACMI Melbourne – Of Gods and Men

December 16th, 2011



Of Gods and Men

  • 17, 18, 24 December 2011 – 11am + 19, 26 December 2011 – 1.30pm

Xavier Beauvois, 123 mins, France, 2011, 35mm, French and Arabic with English subtitles.

Using as its end point the 1996 kidnapping of seven French monks who lived in peaceful co-existence with their Muslim neighbours in the Algerian village of Tibhirine, Beauvois’ absorbing, speculative drama traces the monks’ lives in the period leading up to the film’s dramatic climax.

Tensions escalate when a crew of foreign workers is massacred by an Islamic fundamentalist group but the monks refuse military protection; an attitude that complicates an uneasy relationship with government authorities, who ask them to return to France. Charged with spiritual duties as well as their practical responsibilities in assisting the local villagers, who entreat them to stay, the monks struggle to resolve the ethical and spiritual dilemma of how best to live in accordance with their values.

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