Sunday, February 11, 2007

Into Great Silence

We've been waiting for this for a long time but at last it's coming. The film Into Great Silence by director Philip Groening is about a Carthusian monastery in the French Alps, and it's coming to the Phoenix for 2 showings: 3.30pm Sunday 11 March and 7.45pm Tuesday 13 March. We'll be there! The conditions set by the community for filming included no artificial light, no music [other than their own Gregorian chants], no interviews, no commentary and no accompanying crew. The result is, says The Observer 'a meditation on lives given over to poverty, prayer and solitude... an experience from within a repetitive, spiritual existence'. Groening lived in a cell of his own for a total of four months to make the film. We know that in mayBe we are just scratching the surface of the great monastic tradition, but it has inspired us from the beginning and is shaping our life as a community. The film should be interesting. And perhaps demanding. The Observer review goes on to point out that 80% of novices in the Carthusian order drop out. When the reviewer saw the film 80% of the audience left before the end.

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