Xavier Beauvois
FRA 2010
120 min

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Des hommes et des dieux is inspired by real events, the still not entirely explained kidnapping and murder of seven monks in Algeria in 1996 – but the narrative leads slowly round to the tragedy, which happens only at the very end, and largely off-screen. In a Cistercian monastery in North Africa in the 90’s, eight monks live in cordial harmony with the local population. Brother Luc is the resident doctor, dispensing tender care and good advice, while the monastery’s head Brother Christian is as much versed in the Koran as in the Bible, giving him a special insight into, and respect for, the Islamic country he has chosen to work in. But Algeria is increasingly in the grip of fundamentalist violence: early on, the film’s one piece of explicit brutality, the murder of some Croatian workers, is handled with discreet but arresting effect.
Visually, the film is in a mode of low-key realism, with imposing but sparely composed landscapes firming up the sense of place. Viewers may detect echoes of Bresson and Pialat, but while Beauvois downplays the flourishes, this shouldn’t blind us to just how much directorial individuality there is here. (Jonathan Romney)

At 7.30 Uhr in the presence of Xavier Maly and Jean-Marie Frin.

Before the opening film there will also be a screening of the Viennale-10-Trailer: Empire.

  • Lambert Wilson - Christian
  • Michael Lonsdale - Luc
  • Olivier Rabourdin - Christophe
  • Philippe Laudenbach - Célestin
  • Jacques Herlin - Amédée
  • Loïc Pichon - Jean-Pierre
  • Xavier Maly - Michel
  • Jean-Marie Frin - Paul
  • Abdelhafid Metalsi - Nouredine
  • Xavier Beauvois
  • Etienne Comar
  • Caroline Champetier
  • Jean-Jacques Ferran
  • Marie-Julie Maille
  • Michel Barthélémy
  • Alice Cambournac
Why Not Productions Armada Films, France 3 Cinéma

Wild Bunch

Filmladen Filmverleih
35 mm
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