Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Die große Stille

Believe me -- you have never seen a movie like this before. It's close to 3 hours long and it is almost entirely silent. If you're idea of a good movie is lots of action and adventure DO NOT
go see this movie -- you will hate it.

On the other hand, if you can compose yourself for a while, you can -- to the extent possible -- take a peek inside another world where men have pushed back "civilization" with its sights, sounds, distractions and dedicated their lives to listening to God.
And he said, "Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD." And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

1 Kings 19:11-12

This is one of the Scripture verses that is periodically shown on the screen between shots throughout the movie and it fits so well. God doesn't try to compete with all the noise and distractions of the world. He doesn't try to outshout the blaring TVs, radios, video games, etc. To the contrary, His is a "still small voice". To hear it, we need to shut up and listen.

It's really hard to describe this movie. My wife and father-in-law liked it right away. To be honest, I was kind of bored during the first part of the movie; but, afterwards, snippets and images from the film regularly come back to me and I like the movie tremendously in retrospect (if that makes any sense at all).

Since I'm doing such a poor job of explaining the movie, let me see what the creator of the movie has to say:
Silence. Repitition. Rhythm. The film is an austere, next to silent meditation on monastic life in a very pure form. No music except the chants in the monastery, no interviews, no commentaries, no extra material.

Changing of time, seasons, and the ever repeated elements of the day, of the prayer. A film to become a monastery, rather than depict one. A film about awareness, absolute presence, and the life of men who devoted their lifetimes to God in the purest form.
My favorite part of the movie is towards the end and contains a few moments of dialogue as the filmaker speaks to one of the monks who is elderly and blind.

The monk talks of death and dying and describes how he looks forward to it so that he can finally meet God. He says that if we live our lives serving God, we'll have nothing to fear when we die -- we're just going to meet the person we've spent our lives getting to know.

No comments:


Blog Archive