14 October 2011 | ma-cortes
Thought-provoking and brooding film about a Catholic monastery living a severe existence threatened by terrorists
¨Des Hommes et Des Dieux¨is a magnificent religious picture about faith and sacrifice . Under threat by Islamic terrorists, a group (Laudembach , Rabourdin , Herlin, Pichon , Maly) of Trappist priests ( led by Lambert Wilson) stationed with an impoverished Algerian society must decide whether to leave or stay .French priests are living, working and praying in a catholic monastery in Algeria in the 90s during civil war and while help by various means to Algerian people , as the doctor monk (Michael Londsdale) heals ills , and other teaches and writes letters . It starts showing how the Islamic locals and the Christian community coexist in harmony. The situation with the Algerian Fundamentalist-terrorists turns worse . They are very much appreciated by the local Arab population, but very much in danger . This becomes clear after some Croation workers are cruelly murdered by the guerrilla-forces. At some point they are threatened and unwanted by both guerrilla-fighters , the government and Military ,their presence results to less and less sure and obvious . In the end they are all can be kidnapped by the terrorists to swap them for their own prisoners in France or hidden or getting freedom to God.
This spiritual film is full of good feeling , stern life , touching sacrifice ,and enjoyable relationship among monks . It describes their simple and austere existence only threatened by Islamism and intolerance , but they will have to decide whether to stay or go back to France . Tension and drama enhances when intense confrontations take place with each other, the terrorists and the locals, they all decide to stay. Sensational performances from main cast as Lambert Wilson and Michael Lonsdale along with the remaining monks as Rabourdin , Laudenbach ,and Pichon . Special mention to Jacques Herlin as likable old priest , Herlin is a veteran secondary actor continuously working from the 60s . Sensible and religious music score based in Gregorian songs . Very good and extraordinary cinematography filmed on location in Tioumliline Monastery, Azrou, Morocco . This powerful picture is stunningly directed by Xavier Beaouvous , a good actor , writer and director . Rating : Better than average ; well worth watching , because it is plenty of luminous sensibility , brotherhood , love ,holy feeling, faith and martyrdom.