November 02, 2006


The European Film Academy has picked “Into Great Silence” as the best European documentary of 2006. The E.F.A. jury chose the film over seven other nominees.

In January this year at the Sundance Film Festival, “Into Great Silence” won a special jury prize.

The 162-minute movie has been playing to packed audiences in Europe. It will be released in North America by Zeitgeist Films.

It focuses on the Carthusian monastery of hermits near Grenoble, France, showing their daily prayer, work and community life.

Here's a trailer (four and a half minutes in length) for "Into Great Silence". Be patient. It's full of silence. What else would you expect?


Anonymous Bob Farrell said...

So, would the Carthusians be considered an eremitical community? I know I'm an ignoramus, but "eremetical community" seems like an oxymoron to me.

Can all monastic orders be categorized as either eremitic or cenobic?

11:20 AM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...

Within each Carthusian monastery, some live as hermits, each one having an individual walled enclosure that includes a garden and indoor areas for work, study, prayer, sleep and meals. Others in the Carthusian monastery live more like monks in community.

11:53 AM  
Blogger puella said...

It was showing at cinemas up and down the country here, and was from what I hear very well received. I went to see it and was tremendously impressed. It's a very joyful film that portrays aspects of the Carthusian life in facets I never even considered.

Has it been released in the US yet? I recommend going to see it if you can.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...

Dear puella who writes from Holland!

I don't know if it's showing in the U.S.A. just yet.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Bob Farrell said...

I wonder if the soundtrack will be a double CD?

7:52 PM  
Anonymous J Hudson said...

Some friends saw the film recently at the Vancouver fim festival and enjoyed it very much. The film isn't completely silent: there is occasional speaking, as when the monks take their weekly walk together (a Carthusian tradition). There is even a joke at the expense of the Trappists, which my friends found hilarious. I'm not sure anyone else in the cinema found it quite so funny.

The UK Carthusians at Parkminster have a very nice website:

Oh, and I finally drank some Chartreuse recently and liked it very much. Yum.

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

The Carthusian life is considered "semi-eremitical." It combines elements of both cenobitism and eremeticism. The choir monks tend more toward the eremitical side, the lay brothers tend more toward the cenobitic side since they have to do manual labor in common. However, both choir monks and lay brothers live that distinctively Carthusian balance of solitude in cell (most of the day) and life in common (Mass, major hours of the office, Sunday and Feast Day meals, weekly hike). It's a beautiful life that I had the great pleasure of experiencing first hand for 10 days at the Charterhouse of the Transfiguration in Vermont.

5:54 PM  

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