Thursday, December 18, 2008

Into Great Silence (2005) 2 Discs NR - 2 Stars

I hope I am not being sacrilegious when I say this has got to be one of the most boring films I have ever seen. Must explain why I could NEVER sacrifice my life to Christ. Yeah I get it, the monks life is silent and surrounded by prayer and basically uneventful, but watching someone sit in prayer, for minutes on end, with no dialog, over and over again, is just not my cup of tea movie. The entire movie, aka "Große Stille, Die", is without narration, music, interviews, or archival footage. This film creates silence, not just an absence of sound, but a stillness within that I believe I just can't sit still for. For me, I feel I saw what I needed to see in the first hour. I'm giving it 2 stars out of respect for the monastery. With it's beautiful archways, the movie purposely does not glamorise it.

I'm sad to say I did not bother to watch disc 2 and I only watched about 1 hour of disc 1 so if it got better, than I apologize. I just couldn't do it. I'm not sure what I did expect, as I knew the documentary was about for the first time, outside eyes were allowed to view the church as if you were part of the brotherhood. I just was hoping for some sort of commentary explaining why exactly they choose to love this way. The Grande Chartreuse monastery was founded in 1084 and located in a most beautiful part of God's country, the French Alps, and it's the top monastery of the Carthusian order. You can read a pretty good in dept review of the movie here.

2006 - Into Great Silence - Sundance Film Festival - Special Jury Prize (World Cinema Documentary Jury)

Zeitgeist Films
Director: Philip Gröning
Writer: Philip Gröning
Producers: Michael Weber, Elda Guidinetti, Andres Pfaffli
I viewed 11/08

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