Saturday, March 05, 2011

Des hommes et des dieux

We are not cinephiles here and it seems rare that we ever find the time to sit down and watch a film.  Nevertheless, there are some made that are most worthy of one's time and I wouldn't want to make it sound otherwise.

When I started to hear of Des hommes et des dieux for the first time last year I had no reason to pay it any more than a passing attention—a popular film makes good at Cannes.  Happens all the time.  But lately I've started to hear of it again on France Info, the talk radio station I often listen to as I'm driving to Christopher to school in the morning.

Well, a few weeks ago I got a newsletter from Plough Publishing that mentioned Christian de Chergé, the monk in charge of the Monastery of Tibhirine at the time of the massacre there during the Algerian civil war of fifteen years ago.

Plough mentioned that a recent book of theirs (Why Forgive?) had mentioned Brother Chergé and what he'd said.  Their point was that his attitude of forgiveness was so exemplary.

This got me thinking and soon I was looking a few names up on line.  And that's when everything fell into place and I got to know this new film and the subject.  I thought it might be worth seeing.

You see, it was the release of the film on DVD that has sparked renewed interest in this topic so on the strength of what I read, the reviews Darvell gave it, and having seen the trailer, I ordered our copy.

If you have not seen this film yet (it's called Of Gods and Men, in English) I would suggest you do so at your earliest opportunity.  I'll give you here a couple of useful links and then tell you how it left us.

Des hommes et des dieux (Wikipedia article, French)
Of Gods and Men (Wikipedia article, English)
Plough article on Christian de Chergé
See the trailer on Youtube

I was greatly inspired and uplifted.  The drama is done in such a sensitive and moving way.  To even say this sounds so weak, like such an understatement.  Not for a very long time have I seen and heard a movie proclaim Jesus' message of love, peace, and forgiveness like this one does.  It is quite simply an amazing achievement in the day in which we live!

No sex, no bad language, no arguing, just sublime, conscience-racking, heart-rending questions that must be answered.  This is not about Catholicism, or denominationalism of any kind.  This film reaches so far above all that and touches the essence of Christianity.  And that is the question that is being asked through this film.

I would be very interested to hear from each of you who is reading this what you think of this film.  How did it affect you?  What was your reaction?  What emotions did it kindle in your own spirit?  No need to be long-winded—keep it to the point.  Let's share; especially those of you who we haven't heard from in a long time.

May God bless and keep and teach us, every one.

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