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New Religious Film Draws Highest Accolades

Internationally Honored Film, France’s Oscar Entry, Inspired by True Story, Opens Feb. 25 in New York and L.A.

“. . . one of the more profoundly spiritual films of this year or any other.”
John Anderson
America, The National Catholic Weekly

“This stirring picture of faith literally under fire invites the viewer to consider the depth of his or her own convictions. Beautifully shot and edited—a stellar movie.”
Mark Moring
Christianity Today

LOS ANGELES – Jan. 31, in the year of our Lord 2011 – OF GODS AND MEN, the official France Academy Award entry for Best Foreign Film and an extraordinary story of faith under fire, inspired by actual events, makes its U.S. debut Feb. 25 in New York and Los Angeles, with wider release to follow.

Written and directed by one of France’s top filmmakers, Xavier Beauvois, OF GODS AND MEN is loosely based on the 1996 kidnapping and murder of a group of Cistercian monks in Algiers. As violence rose between the army and terrorist extremists, foreigners were advised to leave but the monks elected to stay—taking no side in the conflict—to continue serving their Muslim neighbors. Who is responsible for their kidnapping remains a mystery.

OF GODS AND MEN stars Lambert Wilson and Michael Lonsdale and already has a wall-full of coveted awards, such as:
Grand Prix: 2010 Cannes Film Festival
Ecumenical Jury Prize: 2010 Cannes Film Festival
Best Foreign Language Film: National Board of Review 2010

Eight French Christian monks live in harmony with their Muslim brothers in a monastery in the mountains of North Africa in the 1990s. When a crew of foreign workers is massacred by an Islamic fundamentalist group, fear sweeps the region. The army offers them protection but the monks refuse. Despite the growing menace in their midst, they slowly and individually choose to stay and serve.

OF GODS AND MEN bears witness to the reality of the monks’ commitment and the strength of the message of peace they shared by staying among their Muslim brothers.

Writer and director Xavier Beauvois envisioned OF GODS AND MEN as a film that reflects the rhythm of life led by Cistercian monks and focuses on their lives and discussions of faith that must have taken place. Monastic music plays a vital role in the film; so much so that Lambert Wilson, who plays Brother Christian, said, “Through songs that elevate and unite us, we became brothers.”

INTERVIEWS: Henri Quinson, who more than 20 years ago left a career in international banking to become a monk, is the monastic advisor to OF GODS AND MEN, and is available on a limited basis for U.S. interviews about the film.

OF GODS AND MEN is a production of Armada Films and Why Not Productions and is released by Sony Pictures Classics.

To learn more:
OF GODS AND MEN OfGodsandMenMovie.com


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