Filmmaker Philip Gröning travels to the French Alps to document the daily lives and rituals of the Carthusian Order of monks.
" A rapturous, absorbing experience -- it has no voice-over, no back story or history, no archival footage and no talking heads -- but only if you can surrender yourself to it. "
" A transcendental piece of filmmaking. "
" As we vicariously participate in their daily rituals, we find ourselves at the ground level of spiritual worship. It's hard to recall a similar documentary that brings viewers so palpably close to that sacred experience. "
" For two hours and 42 minutes, Into Great Silence offers painterly images of an existence that is, almost literally, too reverent for words. "
" Groning then moved into the isolated, centuries-old monastery and for six months, minus crew or artificial light, recorded the monks' daily routine. The result is the seductive documentary Into Great Silence. "
" Have I got a movie for you. Into Great Silence is a two-hour-and-40-minute documentary about monks, and it is one of the transporting film experiences of this or any other year. "
" Into Great Silence is a film of great spiritual intensity and haunting minimalism that enlarges your concepts of movies and of life. "
" Into Great Silence is one of those films -- Martin Scorsese's Kundun is another example -- wherein the spiritual aspiration of the filmmaker informs, and even exalts, the film itself. "
" Into Great Silence moves into the realm of humble observation. Groning traces the passing of the seasons with beauty shots of God's creations, from snow drifts and rain puddles to flower petals and kitten whiskers. "
" More than any film outside Bresson, this non-judgemental document allows us to feel the spirituality of the ecstatic privations guiding their journey. A Christmas gift of time and contemplation. "
" On a philosophical level, Into Great Silence emphasizes the virtues of the ascetic life, returning again and again to the idea of giving away all possessions in order to become a true disciple. "
" Such a poetic essay on the slowed-down rhythms of life, that its quiet pleasures carry the viewer along at a pace commensurate with the monks' own unhurried sense of time. "
" The achievement of Into Great Silence is the way it captures the slow, delicate rhythm of the Carthusian monks. "
" The silence captured in this documentary may be the most eloquent you'll ever hear. "
" Their silence is full to the brim with incidental sound that functions as both score and narration in this hyper-empathic film. "
" This 2005 feature is demanding to say the least, but its pulse-slowing rhythms leave a real sense of peace. "
" Though it likely will not persuade people to join the ranks, experiencing life behind the walls has an undeniable effect. We've been allowed a glimpse of eternity. And who would not be changed by that? "
" Viewing Into Great Silence is meant to mimic the experience of living with the monks. "
" [Some] viewers are likely to consider this nearly three-hour, nearly soundless documentary as a chance to catch up on their sleep. "
" Though there are dozens of images here that you might want as a computer-screen saver, Into Great Silence does not add up to a valuable or engrossing documentary. "
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