‘Of Gods and Men’ explores lives of martyred Cistercian Monks 

by Martin Barillas Thursday, February 03, 2011


For More Information:

Alexis Walkenstein, 678-990-9032 or 561-445-5409 or


Christine Schicker, 404-610-8871 or


‘Of Gods and Men’ explores lives of martyred Cistercian Monks

Based on a true story, the internationally honored film Opens Feb. 25 in New York and L.A.

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 3, 2011 – OF GODS AND MEN, an extraordinary story of Catholic faith and martyrdom, France’s official Academy Award entry for Best Foreign Film, makes its U.S. debut Feb. 25 in New York and Los Angeles – with wider release to follow.

OF GODS AND MEN stars Lambert Wilson and Michael Londsdale. It topped the French box-office charts last fall and already has earned a number of major cinematic awards, including:

Grand Prix: 2010 Cannes Film Festival

Ecumenical Jury Prize: 2010 Cannes Film Festival

Best Foreign Language Film, National Board of Review 2010

Written and directed by one of France’s top filmmakers, Xavier Beauvois, OF GODS AND MEN is loosely based on the 1996 kidnapping and subsequent murder of seven members of the Trappist Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (O.C.S.O), all of them French, living in a monastery in Tibhirine, Algeria. Although an Islamic fundamentalist group reportedly claimed responsibility for abducting the monks in late March 1996 and killing them almost two months later, the true identities of the murderous criminals remains a mystery. Fear swept the region during the Algerian Civil War in the 1990s when an Islamic fundamentalist group massacred a crew of foreign workers. The Cistercians refused military protection, choosing instead to stay and continue their work despite the growing threat of violence.

The film faithfully chronicles the reality of the Cistercians’ willingness to suffer martyrdom to sustain their peaceful message and call to service by staying in the volatile region. John Anderson of the National Catholic Weekly called it “one of the more profoundly spiritual films of this year or any year.”

OF GODS AND MEN writer-director Xavier Beauvois envisioned a film to reflect the rhythm of the Cistercians’ daily routine, focused on their lives and the discussions of faith that must have taken place. Monastic music plays a vital role in the film – so much so that Lambert Wilson, who plays Brother Christian, said, “Through songs that elevate and unite us, we became brothers.”

Henri Quinson, who left a career in international banking more than 20 years ago to enter the monastery, is the monastic advisor to OF GODS AND MEN. He is available on a limited basis for U.S. interviews about the film.

OF GODS AND MEN is a production of Armada Films and Why Not Productions and is released by Sony Pictures Classics.

For more information about OF GODS AND MEN or to schedule an interview with Henri Quinson, please contact Alexis Walkenstein at 678-990-9032 or Christine Schicker at 404-610-8871, both with The Maximus Group.


0    submitted by Martin Barillas
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