It is their shared strength as a band of brothers humble before their Christian God - and indeed before the God of Islam - that may stir viewers to an awe that transcends skeptical opinions about religion or politics.
The film is masterfully directed by Xavier Beauvois who co-wrote the screenplay. At Cannes, Of Gods and Men received the runner-up Grand Prix. It's also France's selection for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.
As the film patiently (perhaps too much so for some) heads toward its foregone conclusion, Beauvois gradually raises his style to a level of baroqueness reminiscent of 1995's "Don't Forget You're Going to Die."
J. HobermanVillage Voice
Beauvois's film is cool while Denis's is hot-but the main difference is that where "White Material" is knowingly postcolonial, Of Gods and Men aspires to the timeless.