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INTO GREAT SILENCE/LE GRAND SILENCE

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Product Details

  • Language: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000N3SOSE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,658 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By K. Paul on May 31, 2007
I was totally transported by the beauty of this film and the profundity of its message and was not bored for one second. In contrast, coming out of the film I felt bombarded by the ugliness of our modern surroundings, the visual vulgarity, mind-numbing noise, and frenetic agitation all around. I wished to be back in the film's ambience of the sacred.

It helps to have a sense of the sacred to appreciate this film. If you are looking for action, even if it's only the monks' "inner" struggle, pick another movie. This one is about success on the spiritual path not failure, and measure of success in the monastery is different from that in the world. These men entered the order with a purpose, to seek the great Peace, and they have found it. One has only to look at their faces, presented with stark directness to know this. Yes, we could be told of all the struggles they faced and the joys they knew, but it is not the purpose of this film to expose a roller coaster of emotions that we can imagine, but to show the extraordinary peace we cannot imagine, and it does this brilliantly with its beautiful camera work and its stately and dignified pace.

Some want to know what these men are thinking. Perhaps they are thinking about God, and their thoughts of God need not be complex to be profound, for the simple utterance of His name can contain all other prayers. This connection of silence with the search for God is expressed by the most diverse spiritual authorities from Black Elk - "for is not silence the very voice of the Great Spirit?", to Jili - "He who speaks becomes silent before the Divine Essence", To St. John of the Cross - "One word spake the Father, which Word was His Son, and this Word He speaks ever in eternal silence, and in silence must it be heard by the soul".
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Jean E. Pouliot on May 5, 2007
"Into the Great Silence" is a German film about French monks who pray in Latin. The monastery of the Grande Chartreuse in the French Alps houses a community of monks of the Carthusian order that has been praying in nearly-total silence and solitude for nearly a millennium. It took the filmmakers over a decade to obtain permission to film at the monastery, but the results are lovely. The monks live in an isolated Bavarian-style villa high in the mountains and hew to an austere daily regimen. They rise well before dawn to pray -- alone in their cells -- for hours. They occasionally gather to chant the liturgy of the hours. They retreat to their cells, where they take meals, bathe and study in solitude and silence. The film follows the monks through their day and over the course of a year, from the deep snows of winter, through the planting season, and around again to winter.

The film is long, it must be said. It features long, lingering shots of the monks at prayer -- favoring closeup shots of an ear, fingers, lips and eyes. But visually, the film is breathtaking. The interior of the monks' cells is spare, with plain wood furnishings and gray, stone walls. The diffuse lighting is almost entirely natural. Many of the shots achieve a Flemish painter's level of natural beauty and homeliness, with parts of the shot plunging into darkness. The camera lingers lovingly on small elements of the monkish life: a candle flame that hovers almost disembodied near the tabernacle in a near-dark chapel during middle-of-the-night prayer; a view of a snow-laden roof seen through a monk's window. The potential monotony of this approach is broken up using a number of techniques.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Lim on August 9, 2007
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Being always drawn to the Rule of St Benedict and a lover of Silence, this production allowed me to experience a little of my dream vocation. It helps "reset" ones complicated sight of life to what is really important. And what is really important is the essence of Life. Union with God. God Love you and Mary keep you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kinghazzah on August 10, 2007
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WOW! It was great in the theater on the big screen and it transfers pretty well to the small living room theater as well. I Highly recommend this movie if you need a little peace and quiet time this is it! The movie follows a year in what many people consider the most austere monastery in the world! The U.S. release is scheduled for October, if you can't wait get this one from Canada.
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By SophieLisette on March 1, 2013
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I visited La Grande Chartreuse in the 70's when people could go to the factory where the monks make the liqueur. It is an incredibly beautiful place. This film shows the beauty and spirituality of the simple life of the monks and is so beautifully photographed and well done. A must see!
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