I was happy to discover that Xavier Beauvois’ film, Of Gods and Men (Des hommes et des dieux), is playing at TIFF. I highly recommend this film for those interested in religious films–“One of the finest religious films, and one of the best Catholic films in years,” according to Father Peter Malone. Of Gods and Men won both the Ecumenical Award and the Grand Prix du Jury Award at Cannes this year. I am thrilled that TIFF is showing it, since I don’t know when another opportunity to view it will arise.
Revisiting a favorite website that I’ve been away from for a while, www.imagejournal.org, I discovered that Image has created an online Arts and Faith community that has compiled a very interesting list of 100 best “art and faith” films. The Arts & Faith Top 100 Films List is especially valuable because each film entry is linked to another page with additional information, including an essay that explains why the film was chosen, and a video clip of the film. The films are chosen both for their artistic excellence and for the way they portray or wrestle with spirituality and questions of faith. We may not be familiar with many of the films on this list–some of them are older and hard to find, and commerciality was definitely not a criteria of the judges. But if you can manage to see just five films on this list in the coming year, I think you will not only be inspired, but find your appreciation for the power of film deepened. An excellent article by Jeffrey Overstreet reflecting on and explaining the list can be found here.