Project Title: Cinematic Analysis: Of Gods and Men
Student: Chloe Holmes ’18
Mentor: Dr. Mary Anne Lewis
This project analyzes several scenes from Xavier Beauvois’s film “Des hommes et des dieux”. In the film, eight French monks in Algeria face violence and threats from the local fundamentalist terrorists and must decide whether to stay or flee the area. Specifically, I would like to analyze the relationship between the cinematographic techniques and the evolution of the political system within the monastery. I will focus on the scene in which Christian, the elected leader, asks each of the monks their thoughts on leaving Algeria. First, I will begin with background information on the situation in Algeria and the historical context of this time period. With each analysis, I will examine the changes in aspects such as light, sound, dialogue, and camera movement and their impact on the film. Throughout the movie, Christian changes his opinion on the political situation in Algeria and this change is displayed through the modification of the elements of the film. Each scene I will analyze is tied to the evolution of the political system, starting with the near monarchy of Christian and ending with the assembled democracy of the monks.