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Customer Review

on 13 August 2007
This is a very beautiful film. The Carthusian monks of La Grande Chartreuse allowed Philip Groning to film alone with no commentary or interviews for a total of six months. The result is a film which demands from the viewer just a tiny measure of the patience, attentiveness and silence which characterises the life of this community. The insight one gains into one of the Church's most ascetic Christian communities is more profound than a documentary full of 'information' or titlating facts. The viewer is more than a 'voyeur'. Frequently, the camera depicts expressions, postures, the textures of skin, the glint of snow or the splashing of rain in exquisite detail. At other times, the camera's gaze is blurred and grainy, reminding us that our view of this extraordinary community - and, indeed, the world - is far from clear. Whereas so much modern cinema relies on plot and effect, this film returns us to the aesthetic potential of film as a visual medium in examining a completely different kind of human living. The monks are not 'escaping', but confronting the human condition in a different way. In the middle of the night, from midnight to 2am or 3am, thirty or so men in the French Alps are praying for the world. Thank God.
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Product Details

4.4 out of 5 stars
£57.99+ £1.34 shipping