Eight French Christian monks live in harmony with their Muslim brothers in a monastery perched in the mountains of North Africa in the 1990s. When a crew of foreign workers is massacred by an Islamic fundamentalist group, fear sweeps though the region. The army offers them protection, but the monks refuse. Should they leave? Despite the growing menace in their midst, they slowly realize that they have no choice but to stay... come what may. This film is loosely based on the life of the Cistercian monks of Tibhirine in Algeria, from 1993 until their kidnapping in 1996.
Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
A transfixing meditation on religious conviction, post-colonial strife and the force of actors who elevate every gesture to a loftier domain.Jordan Mintzer, Variety, 02.25.2011
Austere yet provocative, this is not only a film about faith, it also has faith that the power generated by complex moral decisions can be as unstoppable as any runaway locomotive.Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, 02.24.2011
Both a moving, almost abstract parable of faith and an all too real episode drawn from recent history.Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com, 02.24.2011
The monks don't speak their minds often, but when they do, the actors infuse their utterances with bottomless grace and humility yet very human dread and doubt.David Germain, Associated Press, 03.10.2011