Saturday, April 21, 2007

'Into Great Silence' Showing in Saint Louis

The film, Die Große Stille (Into Great Silence), is now showing in Saint Louis, from April 20th through the 26th. This is a documentary about the Grande Chartreuse, motherhouse of the Carthusian Order, the strictest religious order in the Catholic Church. The Order dates from 1084, and was founded by Saint Bruno.

It is showing at the Plaza Frontenac Cinema daily at 12:50, 4:30, and 8:00 p.m.

From the film's website:
Nestled deep in the postcard-perfect French Alps, the Grande Chartreuse is considered one of the world’s most ascetic monasteries. In 1984, German filmmaker Philip Gröning wrote to the Carthusian order for permission to make a documentary about them. They said they would get back to him. Sixteen years later, they were ready. Gröning, sans crew or artificial lighting, lived in the monks’ quarters for six months — filming their daily prayers, tasks, rituals and rare outdoor excursions. This transcendent, closely observed film seeks to embody a monastery, rather than simply depict one — it has no score, no voiceover and no archival footage. What remains is stunningly elemental: time, space and light. One of the most mesmerizing and poetic chronicles of spirituality ever created, INTO GREAT SILENCE dissolves the border between screen and audience with a total immersion into the hush of monastic life. More meditation than documentary, it’s a rare, transformative theatrical experience for all.
The monks' lives revolve around praying the Divine Office in Latin. Click the link for the Missale cartusiense.

This film is a surprise hit, playing to packed theaters throughout Europe. It shows that there may be something missing in the secularist lifestyle.

210 Plaza Frontenac
Frontenac, Missouri 63131

(314) 995-6285


  1. I saw it opening weekend and it was absolutely excellent! I highly recommend it!

  2. I saw it yesterday, and also highly recommend it.

    This is not a typical documentary: there is no narration, and often there is hardly any sound at all. However, the title of the film is appropriately called "Into Great Silence".

    The film is three hours long, and has very slow pacing, and the antiphons shown on the screen are often repetitive; but in the scheme of the film this actually reflects the life of the monks.

    The monks' recreation periods act as moments of comedic relief in the film.

  3. Do you know if it is coming to Houston? I've been blogging about this movie since early last year when it became a huge hit in Germany.


  4. According to this website, it is showing in Houston starting on May 4th. They don't say which theater.