Monastic magnificence

The penultimate shot

Having seen Of Gods And Men a second time and had the opportunity to think about it, as opposed to sitting there completely overwhelmed, here are some good bits that contributed to it being such a fine film. Best read after you’ve seen it for yourself, I’d imagine:

– The bi-lingual labels on the monks’ honey, illustrating their harmony with the local community with such economy
– Luc’s wise and kind words when a local girl asks him to explain love
– Luc joking to Amédée ‘You’ll outlive us all’
– During the brilliantly-staged first encounter between the monks and the extremists: the camera jerkily following Célestin’s head, forewarning us of the impending drama; the soldier who sees Célestin’s fear and gently prompts him to put his hands down; Fayattia’s eyes, somehow conveying both danger and respect, during his confrontation with Christian
– The beautiful shot of Christian sitting on a rock on the beach, thinking and praying
– Amédée crying during the ‘last supper’ scene. Amazing acting
– Lambert Wilson’s reading of Christian’s letter at the end of the film, reminscent of Viggo Mortensen’s haunting lament at the beginning of The Road
– The last shot

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