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Die große Stille (Into Great Silence)

Posted by martinteller on August 29, 2010

Filmmaker Philip Gröning asked the monastery at Grande Chartreuse if he could film there.  16 years later, they granted the request, on the grounds that there be no music, no narration, and no artificial lighting.  The result is as quiet and meditative as the monastery itself.  It’s a unique piece of work, but it certainly has its drawbacks.  Although there are a few interesting bits (the monks aren’t quite as austere and spartan as you might expect) for the most part it’s pretty much exactly what you would expect it to be.  It’s basically the cinematic equivalent of new age music… unless you want to spend the time just reflecting, reading a description of the movie is a fair substitute for watching it.  But Gröning definitely achieved what he set out to do, and the film does allow for a lot of reflection if that’s what you’re looking for.  And I must say that even as a diehard atheist, I have respect for those willing to devote themselves so completely to their delusions.  Rating: 7


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