Of Gods and a Film Critic

I just received this message from Andrew Welch, who just saw Of Gods and Men. …

I saw your latest blog post about “Of Gods and Men” and wanted to comment.

It’s not often that a movie leaves me speechless, but that’s exactly what happened here. I didn’t even want to move when it was over. But what’s more, when I tried to write about it a couple of days later (I reviewed it for Relevant), I was still speechless. All I could think was that I’d just seen something very important. Something that I wished every American Christian would see, and for two reasons.

The first is that “Of Gods and Men” brings faith to life in a way that movies from the Christian film industry don’t, and it does so with a level of artistry that not many movies (from any industry) are able to achieve.

The second is that it challenges a particular attitude(s) our country has towards the Islamic faith, or any faith for that matter. In particular, the attitude I’m thinking of is suspicion, but you could also call it fear, anxiety, paranoia, or any number of other names. I would expect there to be argument, of course, about Christian’s reference near the end of the movie to “God’s Islamic children,” but even still, the level of respect between the monks and the villagers is something that I would hope any Christian would support.

Of course, for one reason or another, I don’t expect many people to see it. That it won the Grand Prix at Cannes doesn’t mean anything to the average moviegoer, and the fact that it’s in French doesn’t help its chances either. I wish this weren’t the case, but there you are.

Anyway, if you’re interested, here’s the link to my review (nothing like a little shameless self-promotion):


Thanks for your great blog and insightful reviews Jeffrey. They’ve definitely been an inspiration to me over the years.


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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.