Of monks and men

I was mesmerized by the 2010 movie Of Gods and Men and grateful to director Xavier Beauvois for sparing me a death scene at the end. I knew the seven monks being marched into a swirling snowstorm would never return,  and I could not bear to watch them murdered. It was enough that, thanks to the vision of producer Etienne Comar, I’d been invited inside the monastery walls, where each of the monks had finally come to the same difficult decision: to stay despite the threat. It was enough that I knew they’d freely accepted the possibility of their own brutal deaths and had already forgiven the men who would kill them—the Algerian rebels they invariably referred to “our brothers from the mountains.”


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