Into Great Silence
a review by Jeffrey Overstreet
The present state of the world and the whole of life is diseased. If I were a doctor and were asked for my advice, I would reply: Create silence! The Word of God cannot be heard in the noisy world of today. And even if it were blazoned forth with all the panoply of noise so that it could be heard in the midst of all the other noise, then it would no longer be the Word of God. Therefore create Silence.
- Soren Kierkegaard:
… surrender to Into Great Silence as you would to a piece of music, noting the repetitions and variations, encountering surprises just when you think you’ve figured out the pattern. By the end, what you have learned is impossible to sum up, but your sense of the world is nonetheless perceptibly altered.
I hesitate, given the early date and the project’s modesty, to call Into Great Silence one of the best films of the year. I prefer to think of it as the antidote to all of the others.
- A. O. Scott
Need a little peace and quiet?
How about a life-changing spiritual retreat?
German filmmaker Philip Gröning is inviting you on a journey no filmmaker has taken before… a venture into the extraordinary Grande Chartreuse monastery to spend time in meditation and prayer with the Carthusian monks, the strictest order of the Catholic Church.
Now wait a minute. If we’re to believe the movies we’ve seen, monks are child abusers! They lash their own backs in secret, and murmur sinister chants. They conspire to steal our freedoms and kill our imaginations. They seek to cut us off from any sort of pleasure. Right?
No, of course not. While Hollywood loves to take rare exceptions to the rule and exaggerate them as if they were the norm, the truth is that most Christian monks are sincere, humble, God-fearing people who have devoted their lives to asking God to give his mercy to all of us. And Into Great Silence is a powerful work that opens up their private, prayerful world.