Sunday, April 02, 2006

Into Great Silence

The irreplaceable Sandro Magister on Europe's new hit movie:

The original title in German is “Die Grosse Stille,” the great silence. It is a title that is more than appropriate for 162 uninterrupted minutes of pure contemplation. The soundtrack is made only of the chiming of bells, nighttime psalmody, footsteps, wind, rain, and very little else...

But no one would have bet on the astonishing public success that the film had last winter in Germany, topping even the latest Harry Potter film. And yet this is precisely what happened...

Yet the Carthusians are the most hidden of all monks, the least inclined to release news about themselves, the farthest from seeking proselytes. The novices – in the film, there is one who came from Africa – join the Carthusians in mysterious, unplanned ways. That so many viewers are seeking out the contemplative silence of “Die Grosse Stille” is a sign of the need in these times.



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