Of Gods & Men (0/10)
by Tony Medley
Run time 2 hours
Not for children.
In 1996 seven Cistercian monks
were kidnapped in Algeria and executed. This film is based on their
lives from 1993 to 1996 which consisted mostly of the seven of them
singing songs and chants in a chapel. The movie is so long and so
without pace that it seems as if we see each and every chant they made
throughout those 3 years, unexpurgated. Not only that, but the lyrics of
the songs and chants are shown in subtitles. These songs go on for
several minutes each.
That pretty much tells you
that this is a story that could have been told in 15 minutes but
director Xavier Beauvois must have had a lot of film that he had to get
rid of, so he stretched it out with the scenes of the monks singing.
Either that or he thought he was filming a musical and intends to use
this as an application to direct a remake of Singiní in the Rain.
When filming seven monks
singing religious songs didnít get rid of all the film, he inserted
thoughts of each of the monks thinking. What were they thinking about?
There were Islamic terrorists who had slain a bunch of Croats in the
area and because they thought the monks were in danger the army
encouraged them to leave. That doesnít sound like a particularly
difficult decision, but they ponder it throughout the entire film, at
least when they werenít singing, and in the end they make the totally
illogical decision to stay.
I was smarter than all of
them. I saw what I was getting into after 15 minutes and decided that it
was too much agony to sit there for two hours just to write a review. So
I asked my friend if she wanted to leave. She said no. On the off chance
she was saying that because she thought I didnít want to leave and was
just being polite, I told her I did want to leave. She still wanted to
When it was finally over (and
I discovered to my joy that the 3rd millennium hadnít run its
course while we were watching the film) and she deplored the film as
much as I, I asked her why she insisted on staying. Her answer was that
she wanted to see if there was a reason for the film to be made. I asked
her if she had learned the reason and she replied that she had not.
My question is not so much the
reason why the film was made, but how in the world did anybody get
someone to finance something like this? In French.
January 20, 2011