If Xavier Beauvois film Of Gods and Men could be summed up in one word it would be beautiful. There is no other word to describe this poignant story about a group of Christian monks whose monastery is the heart of a small, impoverished Algerian community and who come under threat by a group of fundamentalists. The monks face one of the hardest decisions-whether to risk staying or whether to leave.
Lambert Wilson gives a stellar performance as Christian the head of all the monks, whose defiant decision to stay in the face of terror, is met at first with opposition and then quiet acceptance. The film’s strength lies in its understated dialogue and so much is revealed through what is not said rather than what is. The final scene of a snow-covered landscape is both powerful and haunting. If there had to be a fault with the film (and only if), then it would be that the film is just slightly too long. However the film’s lack of pace is made up for, in every other way, by its sheer simplicity and beauty.