My husband and I watched this movie last night on television. It’s an award-winning secular film based on the true story of a group of Catholic monks caught between a military government and extremist guerrillas in Algeria in the late 1990s. There is tremendous pressure on them to leave the country, and they must decide whether they will leave or stay as the situation around them continues to disintegrate.
The film is beautifully made. The cinematography and the portrayal of each character were perfect, in my mind. It was difficult to remember that the actors were actors, and that the film was not a documentary. It remained wholly human and touching, all the way to the end.
As I was watching it, and musing on how attached I was becoming to the monks in the story, I started thinking about how I would (or wouldn’t) place it in the frame of Christian culture. I followed my own train of thought for a few minutes, then turned to my husband, opened my mouth, and heard myself saying, “See? This is a real movie, not a Christian movie, but look at how it’s portraying these monks!” Continue Reading →