Of God’s and Men is a film about faith. Faith is a powerful thing, and that makes it dangerous at the same time. Believing in one idea allows you to change lives; however, believing just as strongly in another allows you to devote yourself in taking them. In the film, members of the monastery face the difficult decision of putting one’s spiritual principles before one’s physical life.
The group of brothers in the monastery lives a simple self-sufficient life of farming and dispensing medicine and comfort to their Muslim neighbors living in poverty. However, armed Islam extremist terrorizes the modest countryside as they start killing Christians in the region. The brothers of the monastery were torn between their calling to live here with the people, and the safety of their life. At first many might think this is simply a conflict of faith between the two religions. Yet the film shows many similarities among the Christian and ...view middle of the document...
But they soon found themselves as an integral part of the villagers. One villager commented, “We are the birds and the monastery is the branch, without you we will have no anchor.” The monks had an obligation to their friends in the village, and the villagers will be vulnerable without them.
The movie offered subtle hints of the greater power or god himself at work. For example when Brother Christian was praying by the lake a flock of birds swept above him and when he walked through a flock of sheep, the sheep moved in a orderly fashion, as if, the Good Shepherd was beside him. Near the film’s end there was a scene that resonates with the Last Supper from the Gospel of John. The monks enjoyed wine and listened to a tape of the “Dying Swan” from “Swan Lake.” A series of close-ups of the monks’ faces, some smiling, some tearful shows that the monks had reached a peace of mind with themselves and are determined to stay with one another at the monastery despite the dangerous circumstances. Faith is a powerful thing and has the ability of healing the body and soul. As Brother Christian said, “Love is eternal hope and it endures all.”
One of the most powerful scene was when Brother Christian asked if the leader of the terrorist group reads Koran. He starts to recite a verse from the Koran about good and evil, and the leader finishes off the verse. The leader later apologizes to Brother Christian when we found out that it is Christmas. They later shook hands and parted their ways. This shows that the conflict in the region is more about political reasoning and not about religious faith.
I think Of God’s And Men tells us that it is possible for the Christian and Muslim world to live in peace, especially in our age. One might ask, “how do we live in peace?”, “what dialogue do we use?” or “where does this lead us to?” However, I believe the answer had already presented itself. When we look deep into the teachings of the two religions and set aside our differences, we will see that the cores of the religions offer us the wisdom of how to grow our friendship. Peace is right around the corner if we look deep enough.