Saturday, November 10, 2012

Of Gods and Men

A Brother to All
By: Daniela Delvescovo

Movie Review of the DVD
Of Gods and Men
Director: Xavier Beauvois
Cast: Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale

"Our mission here is to be brother to all."

Of Gods and Men is a film that depicts the true story of a group of French Trappist monks stationed in Algeria when they are threatened by a group of fundamentalist terrorists and must now decide whether to leave or stay. 

This movie is rated PG-13, but it doesn’t contain any highly offensive content. There is some mild violence, and I don’t think it should keep teens and young adults from appreciating the film. Winner of the best foreign language film in 2010, as awarded by the National Board Review, it is a subtitled film, so I wouldn’t recommend it for children. Since it can be slow at times, don’t expect it to be a highly action-oriented film.

The movie begins by introducing the relationship between the French monks and their surrounding community. The monks are very close with the people there, even though they are Muslim. They provide much needed medical care, supplies, and even advice to the people. 

This all changes when terrorists enter the village and put the town on lockdown. The country is at war. The monks are given a chance to leave their post secretly for the sake of their safety. They are now faced with a decision: Stay with the people who are in desperate need of their help, even though they may be killed, or go and ensure their safety. 

Although this movie is not the easiest to sit through (it is a long film, and sometimes keeping up with the subtitles is difficult), it is very rewarding to finish. It addresses a topic that almost all of us struggle with as Christians: our mission to be brothers to all. 

Sometimes we tend to view all people in the Muslim faith as outsiders, or we fear them because of the actions of extremist terrorist groups who kill for their religious beliefs. This movie shows that not all Muslims are bad, that they are people too. And even though they are not Christians, like us, we are to treat them as our brothers and sisters.  

"Charity is that with which no one is lost,
and without which no one is saved."
 - St. Robert Bellarmine

We as Christians believe that all people are the children of one God. It doesn’t matter if they are Muslims, Jews, Hindus, or even atheists. The monks in this movie serve as a great example of what it means to really accept everyone and do whatever it takes to help save the lives of others. 

This movie can be purchased on DVD at and other sources.

Questions for youth groups, families, and other small group discussions (and we hope you will post a comment here):
  1. Why do you think the monks choose to stay, even though it may have cost their lives?
  2. Have you ever treated someone from another religion or race like an outsider? Why?
  3. How can we be more accepting of others in our everyday lives, even while not accepting their un-Christian beliefs?

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