Into Great Silence

Feb 23, 2018 | Audio-Visual Presentations

It is so often out of silence that God speaks. That is true for us in worship and for our personal leading – but also for ‘tuning’ in to what God is saying over much bigger issues.

This is an opportunity to watch a really special film. Unusually it has neither background music nor conventional ‘plot’. Rather, it sensitively provides us with a precious glimpse into the inner life of the most contemplative of all monastic traditions: the Carthusians. As such it demonstrates beautifully that silence is much more than the absence of noise: it is a profound inner stillness and oneness with the Lord.

Into Great Silence is an opportunity to step away from our normal expectation of constant ‘action’ and to draw deeply into the Lord’s presence in ‘great silence’ ourselves.* As it is quite long, you may want to make a note of where you got to and keep coming back to it rather than trying to watch it all at one go.

Shot on location in the Grand Chartreuse in 1984, the young German film director had to wait thirteen years after his initial request to film inside it before permission was granted. There are many things in life we have to wait for and to hold before the Lord before the release comes!

This full length film may not appeal to everyone, but it represents a precious invitation to move beyond fast food to richer fare, as we savour the silence and wait on the Lord to see what He may have to show us through it. As someone wisely put it, “We cannot contain Christ within our words and our theology.”Don’t be deterred by the extremely slow start! This is a time to go slow!

*’Great Silence’ is the term used in monasteries to describe the silence that is held in monasteries every evening from compline onwards.

Review by the Guardian.


  • Special Jury Prize at the 2006 Sundance Festival.
  • European Film Awards 2006, Documentary – Prix Arte
  • Bavarian Film Award best documentary film on Friday, 13. January 2006
  • Film Award of the German Association of Film Critics, best documentary film, 2006
  • Film Award of the German Film Critics, best documentary film, 2006
  • Film Award German Camera, best camera in a documentary film, 2006
  • Jury Film Award for the best documentary film in the international festival contest of São Paulo / Rio de Janeiro
  • International Ennio Flaiano Award of Pescara in Italy for best camera and best film

From Wikipedia.

1 Comment

  1. Helen

    This is a wonderful film. It is beautifully creative with memorable photography. I just love the contrasting light and use of neutral tones throughout. The constant referencing to the mountains and snowy landscape gives it a wonderfully heavenly feel. There are also exquisite shots of outside and inside architecture – but the real beauty is in the deeply considered close ups. The soft and gentle portraits of the monks and the subtle noise of their movements takes one into their world. The pace of the film and it’s slow and sure pauses and poignant full stops slow us down and helps us appreciate the ministry of silence in our hearts and souls. I have found God’s presence in the silence that is thoughtfully and profoundly captured in this film and this is surely the greatest impact and blessing the viewer can receive.

Welcome to the Blog