Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Des Hommes et des dieux - Of Gods and Men

2010 by Xavier Beauvois - French movie

There are times, when I watch a pure artistic movie and I would find it too intelligent or too much artistic for me. Either I would end up not understanding it or I would find it really bohring. Des Hommes... was suggested as a very serious movie and I was sure what to expect. But I must admit, I was really flabbergasted/brilliantly terrified by this one. A movie all people belonging to all religions across the whole world should definitely watch.  This movie is all against stereo typing or hate mongering or making judgements. Absolutely Brilliant.

Somewhere in Algeria, there are nine monks in a Christian monastery, which is located in a muslim village. The villagers considers the monastery as the branches and themselves as the birds, describes how each depend on. Then during the Algerian civil war extremist forces start killing all foreigners around and the monks too have to be afraid. 

Till the end of this movie, I did not have any idea that this was a true story. Towards the very last scene, we are quite sure what is the fate of the monks and we feel quite sad and then comes the end credits briefing what exactly happened and I was quite grief struck. I felt like I should not have known that this was a true story.

This is truly a master peice, I would say. With the synopsis I expected it to be a very slow and serious movie. And it sure is. But I salute the script and the director to make it as engaging as any thriller movie. There are no elements befitting any entertainer or thriller and the movie actually has a very spiritual back ground. There are even lots of prayers and hymns, which normally I would hate to listen to. But in this movie, they are used so wonderfully. The nine monks and of course the few villagers who gains prominence in the script are so wonderful characters that we get really engaged. The faces of all those monks are still etched in me.

I wish everybody watch this movie. Not just for a great cinematic presentation of a true story, but it is more than that. It shows how normal and peaceful life could be between different religions, even in their serious religious forms, co existing, unless there are outside elements who can infringe into their co existence. The makers of this movie deserves lots of praise to not picturise even a single Muslim, other than the extremists, as somebody who is against the monks. And there is dignity offered even to an extremist here. The scene when the extremists arrive in the monastery and negotiating with the monks, is so brilliant, kind of spine chilling to be frank.

I would rate this as one of the very best movies I ever saw. Everything about this movies is so brilliant, the script, the director, the camera and all the other technicians, each and every actor....

I am so glad I saw this.