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If you begin watching this film expecting an explanatory documentary about monastic life in La Grande Chartreuse, you may soon become bored and fed up. If you begin watching this film expecting to be taken into the monastic way of life, you will soon find yourself there. The movie takes the pace of the slow, quiet atmosphere of the monastery. Long periods of silence broken by the occasional creak of floorboards or chanting or bells, and very little dialogue. It is like each shot is a photograph. A moving photograph.
It is not entirely what one expects, however. Keep an eye out for the odd object seemingly out of place: the highlighter, the keyboard, the laptop; the odd conversation on a monk's departure for Seoul, South Korea; the shot of monks sliding down a snowy bank on their bums.
I wanted more explanation - how the individuals chose this way of life; how they sustain their community; what contact they have with secular people. But it is not that kind of documentary. As long as you're prepared for that, it is a film worth watching.
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