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Based on real-life events, writer/ director Xavier Beauvois’ masterful drama follows French Cistercian monks who are caught up in a civil war in an unnamed North African country during the mid-’90s.
Should they flee to safety abroad – or continue serving the local population at their remote monastery?
Beautifully acted by its ensemble cast (especially Lambert Wilson and Michael Lonsdale), it immerses us in its subjects’ rituals, everyday tasks and spiritual dilemmas.
The Last Supper-style sequence, where the monks listen to Swan Lake and share red wine, is particularly affecting.