Rod Dreher on “Into Great Silence”

It’s been a few weeks since I included any more raves here for the year’s most important and memorable film so far.

So here we go…

Rod “Crunchy Con” Dreher discovers Into Great Silence.

It is an amazing film — in fact, this is probably the closest anybody will ever come to embodying prayer on film. … This beautifully shot film forces you to pay attention to the tiniest things: the way the light falls on a bowl of fruit, the sound of a monk’s scissors on rough fabric as he prepares a new cowl, the Rembrandt-like pathos of a single beam of sunlight from a high window striking a monk preparing to chant in the Gothic chapel. There is about this film a quality of lucidity that takes your breath away.

But he’s wrong about one thing…

“Into Great Silence” contains no narration and no interviews; it just is.

In fact, there is an excerpt from an interview at the very end of the film, in which one of the monks talks about the happiness of serving the Lord through a life of prayer.

Thanks to Peter Chattaway for the link.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at

  • bgeerdes

    But he’s wrong (arguably) about one thing [...] there is an excerpt from an interview at the very end of the film

    Rod does mention that he needs to finish watching the movie. So presumably he hasn’t gotten to the end yet. ;)