06 June 2018, The Tablet

From the vineyard

Secret pleasure


When the film Into Great Silence was shown in British cinemas in 2006, film critics were taken aback by the public’s reaction. Shot with a hand-held camera only, with no artificial lighting and no soundtrack, and lasting nearly three hours, it offered a real-time insight into the life of the Carthusians in their mother house, La Grande Chartreuse, 17 miles from Grenoble, in south-east France.

Watching the film was like going on retreat. Audiences were spellbound and strangely reluctant to leave the cinema, once the film ended, as though held in a contemplative trance.

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