Into Great Silence
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In this contemplative documentary from filmmaker Philip Gröning, the Grande Chartreuse monastery opens its doors to the public for the first time since being founded by St. Bruno in 1084 to offer an intimate look at a lifestyle rarely experienced by those outside of the brotherhood. Located in the remote regions of the French Alps, near the Dauphiné Alps, the Grande Chartreuse is the top monastery of the Carthusian order. In this documentary, the lives of the pious monks of Grande Chartreuse are captured on film as director Groening adapts to their ascetic lifestyle for six months and captures… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This 2005 feature is demanding to say the least, but its pulse-slowing rhythms leave a real sense of peace."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"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."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"Despite his restrictions, Groning finds light and shade, contrasting the natural - more chaotic world - with the regimented life within the cloister."
‑ Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film
"By the final third of the documentary, we evolve to a state of envy - envious at their resolute commitment and their utter faith - and even the most cynical atheist might find himself convinced that if anyone will find God, it is these men."
‑ Steven Snyder, Zertinet Movies
"Gröning shows us, instead of telling us, what this life entails. Through this organic approach, Into Great Silence allows the audience to experience, at least for a few hours, the same enviable sense of peace these men carry with them."
‑ Carla Meyer, Sacramento Bee
"A transcendental piece of filmmaking."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"[Some] viewers are likely to consider this nearly three-hour, nearly soundless documentary as a chance to catch up on their sleep."
‑ Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Something to behold."
‑ Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness
"I have never before experienced a greater example of utterly transcendent filmmaking."
‑ Brandon Fibbs, Christianity Today
"This Silence is truly golden."
‑ , Los Angeles Daily News
"As a place to enter and meditate, Into Great Silence is imminently worthy, but as a documentary, it doesn't do enough to probe the meaning of the quotation Gröning returns to repeatedly: "Oh Lord, you have seduced me, and I was seduced.""
‑ Noel Murray, AV Club
"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."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"The Silence Before Bach: Illuminates a complexity of ideas, including the passive reflection prior to creative conception and organic to musical formulation and the space between sounds, that fascinate the filmmaker, both musically and cinematically."
‑ Prairie Miller, NewsBlaze
"[Director] Gröning creates a trance-like rhythm of visual and aural patterns, ranging from the repetition of duties and behaviors to biblical quotations."
‑ Michele Kenner, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"The only place the camera doesn't go is the brewery. That's where the monks bottle their world famous Chartreuse liqueur, which sustains them financially."
‑ Larry Ratliff, San Antonio Express-News
More reviews for Into Great Silence on Rotten Tomatoes