Paul Simon: Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
The Resignation

Of Gods and Men

Among the people who would be most interested in this movie, I suppose I'm one of the last to see it. In the unlikely event that you don't already know, it's the story of a group of French Trappist monks in Algeria who must decide whether to leave or stay in response to the growing threat of Islamist violence. I can confirm that it's as good as everyone says it is.

And, in passing, its reception supports my contention that the secular world will respond to art that treats Christian faith respectfully and in this case positively, if it's truly good work: this film won a great many awards, including the Grand Prix at Cannes. Too often Christians use secular prejudice as a means of avoiding recognition of the poor quality of much well-intentioned Christian art.  The prejudice does exist and does have an effect. It creates an environment where second-rate, and third-rate, and fourth-rate secular or anti-Christian art can succeed, whereas Christian art has to be first-rate. But first-rate is what we should be doing anyway.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I finally got round to seeing it about ten days ago. I agree with everything you say here.

I've seen it three or four times, watching with students, and could easily watch again.

I did consider keeping this a bit longer and watching it again, but I think I'll just send it back to Netflix. I have to admit I had sort of put off watching it, even though the dvd has been here for several weeks, because I was afraid it was going to be...I'm trying to think of a kinder word than "boring".... I had a bad experience with Into Great Silence, which I had to force myself through. The problem was with me, not the movie, but I just couldn't stay interested. This of course has a pretty gripping story to tell, though it's told in a slow and stately fashion.

They did a wonderful job of showing the struggles of the individual monks in their decisions to stay. I was thinking when I read this post that it's the kind of process that many people will have to go through in the coming years. This morning, I'm thinking that even moreso.


I was about to ask "why this morning?" then thought maybe I should take a look at the headlines first. I'm stunned.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)