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INTO GREAT SILENCE
(Germany, 2005, Philip Gröning, 169 min)
A transcendent observation of the Grande Chartreuse monastery in the French Alps and its ascetic Carthusian order. A rare, transformative cinematic experience, that embodies rather than represents its subject.
Winner of the Sundance Special Jury Prize and the European Film Awards Prix Arte (Documentary), through experiential, elemental cinema – a meditative journey through time, light and space – the film immerses the audience in the rhythms of monastic life, changing seasons, and the practice of absolute presence.
“How does one make a film that, more than depicting a monastery, becomes a monastery itself? How? To this day, I don't know how. I only know that one can. That, at some point, this film took on form, became a monastery – space and not a narrative.” – Philip Gröning
With no artificial light, no additional music, no commentary and near to no dialogue, Into Great Silence, a film 21 years in the making, achieves the remarkable through its masterful congruence of content and form – creating the monastery itself for 160 minutes inside the viewer, and transforming the cinema auditorium into a space of reflective contemplation.