Reverence, awe, simplicity, prayer: Three amazing hours at the movies.


Last night, I watched Into Great Silence.

I’ll be writing about it in detail soon, but I can tell you now: I doubt I’ll see a more affecting, inspiring, convicting work this year.

It opens in Seattle today. Go see it.

Be prepared. It’s almost three hours long, and it may feel more like five…. Get caffeinated.

Take your friends. Plan to discuss it afterward… but maybe not immediately.

It’s not a story. It’s an experience… a documentary that captures a way of life. Those critics that say the film is too long are completely missing the point — we simply cannot appreciate the lifestyle of these monks if we aren’t pushed beyond our comfort zone, if our patience isn’t tested, if we don’t experience the challenge of silence, of obedience, of humble adherence to ritual.

It may not be the most comfortable experience, but I can almost guarantee it will be good for you. You probably need this movie. I sure do. I’ll be going back to see it again and again, for so many reasons.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • angelaw

    Why is it that only Christians who make movies that suck are publicly ridiculed by other Christians? I can understand some cynicism about the quality of what’s being produced.

    But come on – the films Barbara named that she hates so much, “Facing the Giants, Luther and One Night With the King were all popular hits. They’re selling DVDs right and left. So does she hate the audience that loves the movies she hates?

    Hollywood has produced, and is continuing to produce, plenty of poorly-written, “stupid” (I was disappointed to hear that word used so derisively) schlock. No one is calling them out for it.

    It would probably be way more constructive if Ms. Nicolosi and others with her ability would reach out to the filmmakers they’re so mad at, rather than throwing them out with yesterday’s garbage.

  • Sheila West

    I think Greydanus said a few weeks back that it was the first great film of the year. Though comments on this film are few and infrequent, they’ve all been nothing short of heralding. I’ll have to see if it’s playing around here.

  • D. Ian Dalrymple

    I’ve been waiting months for this film. I only hope it shows up on a screen down here in the Bay Area.

    I look forward to reading your review, Jeffrey.