Into Great Silence

Two weekends ago I did something I hadn’t done in almost a year. I went to the movies. I went because I felt like the house search was taking over my life and I really just need some escape time. However, I was too lazy to go to one of the major cinemas and ended up at the local artsy theatre in Kilburn. They were showing Into Great Silence. Now based on the reviews, it’s seemed like a really good choice as it’s a documentary about the everyday “lives of Carthusian monks of the Grande Chartreuse, high in a remote corner of the French Alps (Chartreuse Mountains).” But 15 minutes into the movie, I was ready to walk out. Mainly because there was no dialogue, narration or musical score to help the documentary along. It was complete silence and it you have a lot on your mind, this is not the sort of movie you should go see. In the end, I stuck it out but I was one of the few. I mean, it went on for almost 3 hours and while beautifully shot, it was a bit painful to watch as the monks not only take a vow of poverty but they also speak very rarely. They do speak out loud for prayer and chanting but regular chatter is confined to their Monday walks. That my friend seems like too great a sacrifice.

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