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Louder Than Bombs

Louder Than Bombs

Much of the discussion surrounding Into Great Silence, detailing the daily rituals of the monks inhabiting the Grand Chartreuse monastery in the French Alps, is sure to focus on how Phillip Groning’s nearly three-hour documentary provides a window into a rarely seen spiritual world. It does perform this function, and admirably, but not for the purposes of providing clarity – the end result leaves a sense of monastic existence more exotic and otherworldly than one could imagine. It’s almost as if Groning, having lived alongside the brothers and participated in their rituals for six months, was left by the experience disinclined to hew to any standards of linear narrativity when constructing his film, drifting instead towards an impressionistic wash of images and, yes, sounds that are often impenetrable, but always seductive.

Click here to read the rest of Jeff Reichert’s review of Into Great Silence.

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