This weekend I have watched a beautiful film that has been on my “to watch” list for about six months. “Of Gods and Men” is the powerful story of a group of French Cistercian monks living in community and serving their neighbors in Algeria in the mid-1990s.
The brothers live peaceably with their Muslim neighbors, providing medical assistance and care, and their neighbors consider them to be an important part of their community. When an Islamic fundamentalist group slaughters a group of Croatian workers near the village, the monks must struggle with the decision of whether to remain with the villagers and the impending threats of violence or to leave. Each of the brothers must determine what Jesus would have him to do – and we see the struggles these men face as they prayerfully reflect on their calling and reach their decisions.
The film is in French with English subtitles and is rated PG-13. It has won a number of awards including the Grand Prize at Cannes and the Best Foreign Language Film from the National Board of Review. There are several scenes of war-related violence and death.
The film is on order for the APU Libraries film collection and should be available soon.