Cannes 2010: Of Gods and Men – Xavier Beauvois
As we promised, we’re here to continue our little chat about Cannes Film Festival 2010, so, another title shceduled to compete for the Palme d’Or this year is Of Gods and Men (or, if you prefer Des hommes et des dieux), an upcoming French drama movie, directed by Xavier Beauvois.
So, if you’re interested in some drama about a brotherhood of Cistercian monks who stand up for their beliefs when confronted by fundamentalists, than you should definitely pay attention on this one…
But, there’s much more about this story, so here is full synopsis: “A monastery high in the mountains of the Maghreb, some time in the 90s…Eight French Cistercian monks live in harmony with the Muslim population. Close to the villagers, they share in their labors and festivities, and take care of their daily medical needs. When a group of foreign workers are massacred, panic seizes the region.
The army tries to insist on armed protection for the monks, but the brothers refuse. Soon after, they are visited by the fundamentalist group claiming responsibility for the massacre. Christian, the Prior, stands firm against Ali Fayattia, the leader of the armed men, and persuades them to leave. But doubt has taken hold of the monks: some want to go, others insist they must stay. Christian proposes a period of reflection before making their collective decision.
The monks try to continue as before, but the atmosphere grows tenser by the day. When they agree to treat some of the terrorists, the authorities are furious, and put pressure on them to return to France. Christian calls a new vote. But this time the brothers are united. They will stay, whatever the cost…”
As you see, this is definitely not an easy theme for this French film director, actor, and screenwriter.
On the other hand, he certainly has good experience with this Festival, because, let us remind you, his movie Don’t Forget You’re Going to Die (or N’oublie pas que tu vas mourir) was entered into the 1995 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Jury Prize at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.
Of Gods and Men, co-written by Etienne Comar and Beauvois includes some interesting cast: Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale, Olivier Rabourdin, Roschdy Zem, Philippe Laudenbach, Jacques Herlin and Sabrina Ouazani.
Filming started in early December 2009 in Marocco and the main filming location was an old monastery that had not been in use for over 40 years, which the film team renovated in order to resemble the location of the actual event.
Good luck Des hommes et des dieux!
Of Gods and Men Trailer