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The Sounds of Silence

Sunday, February 17, 2013
2:00 p.m. Into Great Silence
Philip Gröning (Germany, 2005)

Watch the trailer
Introduction/Gaetano Kazuo Maida


Maida is the executive director of the Buddhist Film Foundation, a documentary filmmaker, and a specialist in tea culture.

(Die große Stille). At the Grande Chartreuse monastery in the French Alps, the reclusive monks of the Carthusian Order live out their days in silence. The daily rituals—the prayers and meals, the walks and labors—establish a quiet and reverential rhythm. German director Philip Gröning spent months among the monks, sharing and observing their silence, attuning himself (and us) to the stillness of their devotion. Gröning’s unblinking concentration creates an austere yet sublime portrait of the isolated order. Silence as an expression of worship becomes clear as the seasons pass and this contemplative film captures the lucid light in enlightenment.

Susanna Elm, originally scheduled to introduce the film, is unable to appear.

• Written, photographed by Gröning. (164 mins, In French with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, From Zeitgeist Films)