Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB
Original title: Die Grosse Stille
France/Switzerland/Germany, 2005. ARTE, Bavaria-Filmkunst Verleih, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Cine Plus Filmproduktion, Cine Plus, Philip-Groning-Filmproduktion, Televisione Svizzera Italiana, Ventura Film, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen. Screenplay by Philip Groning. Cinematography by Philip Groning. Produced by Philip Groning, Elda Guidinetti, Andres Pfaffli, Michael Weber. Music by Michael Busch, Philip Groning. Film Editing by Philip Groning.
Probing, purely observant look into the world of monastic life. This gorgeously filmed but difficult to watch documentary goes into the world of the Grande Chartreuse, a reclusive monastery that has kept its traditions alive since the 12th century. We see the monks as they live in near-constant silence, working and studying. As pitch-perfect a view as it is into a world unknown to most viewers, it’s also impossible to sit through; long, slow takes evoke the world of stillness that these men live in but don’t make for easy times in a movie theatre seat or on your couch. Still, it’s fascinating and worthy of at least the attempt.
European Film Award Nomination: Best European Documentary
Toronto International Film Festival: 2005