Into Great Silence

Into Great Silence

Into Great Silence

  Sometimes it takes a little longer to films actually see the light of the world and take shape. In the case of the great silence there were fewer than 20 years. For the first treatment of the film by German director Philip Gröning dated to the year 1984. Even then, Groening had the idea to make a film about the life of the Carthusian Order, a brotherhood of the strictest in the Roman Catholic Church, which dates back to the year 1084th Under almost complete silence, broken only once a week while taking a walk and devote almost without any contact with the outside world, the monks, many hours a day in prayer and quiet contemplation, mostly in the cell and only the deliberately kept simple liturgical ceremonies will be jointly implemented. The Motherhouse of the Order, “La Grande Chartreuse” is in the rock formations near Grenoble, worldwide there are 19 Carthusian monks and five women, with 370 convents with about 75 nuns.

The shift away from the world – a central point in the centuries-old rules of the Carthusians – it was that the film project was delayed, and it is almost a miracle that this film could actually be realized. For last French film maker in the 1960s, received permission to take photos at Grande Chartreuse “to do so, but only under the condition show no faces. Even more surprising, given that in 1999, after 15 years finally came the permission to shoot in “La Grande Chartreuse” too. Philip Groening took six months, all on her own part, the life of the monks, he accompanied her daily life with the camera, without any assistance of light and sound, all within the rhythm of the Order, which seldom more than three hours sleep at Each allowed.

Over large parts of the nearly three-hour movie is just dumb, and then opens his eyes and ears for the Unheard, on steps, ringing bells, turning a book page, or the creaking of wood. Even the pictures taken, mostly with a Super 8 or HDCAM, are conceivable kept simple and captivate with its clarity and parsimony, with an incredible sensibility, which is staging the coarseness of the robes, the folds and wrinkles, the pure and naked life of the monks and celebration-a meditation on the pause in a frenzied world. Often, the time seems to stand still in this film to be stretched and extended to infinity, an absolute counter to the frantic cuts and fast moving images, which now also dominate the documentary. It’s more than obvious, is that Groening soon succumbs to the fascination of the observed and the pushing any distance to the event, which is especially evident in the fact that hardly ever demanded or insisted. But perhaps it is precisely this participation in the austere and simple life, which makes this kind of life so fascinating, at least for 160 minutes in the cinema.

Title: Into Great Silence Country of production: Germany Year of production: 2005 Length: 162 (Min) of material: X-Hire

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